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Zebulon  B.  Vance 

"The  Scattered  Nation" 


Vance  in  U.  S.  Senate,  ca.  1880. 

Courtesy  N.  C.  Division  of  Archives  and  History. 

Zebulon  B.Vance 


The  Scattered  Nation 


The  Wildacres  Press 
Charlotte,  N.  C. 

All  Rights  Reserved 

Published  May,  1995 

Published  by 
The  Wildacres  Press 
Charlotte,  N.  C. 

Library  of  Congress  Catalog  Card  Number:  95-60697 
International  Standard  Book  Number: 
isbn  0-9646363-0-1 

Design  by  Jim  Billingsley 
Printed  Letterpress  in  the  United  States  of  America 
by  Heritage  Printers,  Inc. 
Charlotte,  N.  C. 

Dedicated  to  the  memory  of 
philanthropist,  creator  of  humanitarian  institutions 
and  devotee  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance. 


Although  I  have  been  interested  in  the  life  and  accom- 
plishments of  Zebulon  B.  Vance  for  many  years,  it  was  at 
the  suggestion  of  Herman  Blumenthal,  chairman  of  the 
Blumenthal  Foundation,  that  I  decided  to  perform  the  re- 
search and  preparation  of  this  work.  I  am  grateful  for  his 
encouragement  from  the  inception  and  along  the  way  to 

I  thank  John  B.  Boles,  Managing  Editor  of  the  Jour- 
nal of  Southern  History  for  permission  to  republish  "Zeb- 
ulon B.  Vance  and  the  Scattered  Nation"  by  Selig  Adler. 
(The  Journal  of  Southern  History,  Vol.  VII,  August  1941. 
No.  3.) 

A  debt  of  gratitude  is  due  Dr.  Irving  J.  Edelman  for  his 
assistance  in  preparation  of  the  bibliography. 

A  special  measure  of  gratitude  is  extended  to  my  long- 
time secretary,  Joan  O.  Garner,  for  her  diligent  typing  of 
the  manuscript. 

I  am  grateful  to  Mary  Norton  Kratt,  eminent  Charlotte 
historian,  for  her  invaluable  advice. 

I  am  also  thankful  to  Mildred  H.  Irvin  for  her  reading 
the  manuscript  and  her  important  suggestions. 

I  express  appreciation  to  the  staff  of  the  North  Carolina 
Division  of  Archives  and  History  for  their  courteous  as- 

Maurice  A.  Weinstein 

December  1994 



\^f  making  many  books  there 
is  no  end"  (Ecclesiastes  12: 12 ) .  The  proliferation  of  books 
has  been  a  common  practice  for  over  two  millennia.  For  a 
book  to  be  meaningful,  however,  it  should  be  of  literary- 
worth,  satisfy  a  need  and  fill  a  void.  I  am  convinced  that  this 
volume  meets  all  these  criteria. 

Zebulon  B.  Vance  is  North  Carolina's  most  renowned 
statesman,  and  1994  is  the  100th  anniversary  of  his  demise. 
It  is  regrettable  that  few  people  today  recognize  his  name, 
let  alone  his  achievements.  It  would,  therefore,  be  most  ap- 
propriate that  his  memory  be  honored  at  this  time  with  a 
biographical  sketch  of  his  life,  depicting  his  accomplish- 
ments and  impact  on  North  Carolina  and  the  country. 

A  magnificent  orator,  Vance  has  been  acclaimed  for 
"The  Scattered  Nation,"  a  speech  he  wrote  that  is  regarded 
as  the  finest  and  greatest  oration  of  his  career.  A  master- 
piece, it  includes  the  contributions  of  the  Jewish  people  and 
an  impassioned  plea  that  they  be  befriended.  Last  published 
in  1928,  the  speech  is  included  in  this  volume  so  that  it  may 
be  preserved  for  posterity. 

Why  did  Vance,  born  in  a  log  cabin  in  the  North  Caro- 
lina mountains,  involved  in  many  pursuits,  prepare  "The 
Scattered  Nation"  and  deliver  it  throughout  the  United 
States  over  a  period  of  15  to  20  years?  This  phenomenon 
fascinated  a  Professor  of  History  at  the  University  of  Buf- 
falo, Selig  Adler,  who  researched  this  perplexing  question. 
His  findings  are  presented  in  an  article  published  in  the 

•  ix  • 


Journal  of  Southern  History  in  August  1941  and  is  also 
included  in  this  publication. 

The  memory  of  Vance  would  have  faded  wholly  into  ob- 
livion were  it  not  for  Asheville,  North  Carolina,  which  had 
dedicated  a  towering  monument  in  the  center  of  the  city  to 
him  and  annually  conducts  a  memorial  ceremony  on  his 
birthday.  A  museum  containing  his  memorabilia  is  located 

In  Charlotte,  where  he  had  practiced  law  for  10  years, 
the  city  had  established  a  Vance  Park  and  named  a  street 
and  school  for  him.  They,  however,  no  longer  exist. 

The  only  memorials  that  do  remain  are  a  hard-to-find 
marker  where  his  home  stood,  a  bust  of  him  at  the  Char- 
lotte-Mecklenburg Library,  and  a  small  bronze  plaque  at 
the  First  Presbyterian  Church  on  the  pew  where  he  and  his 
family  sat. 

It  is  our  fervent  hope  that  by  means  of  this  book  the 
memory  of  this  distinguished  statesman  will  remain  alive 
and  that  he  will  take  his  rightful  place  in  the  annals  of  our 
country.  Zebulon  B.  Vance  deserves  to  be  remembered,  rev- 
ered and  commemorated. 

Herman  Blumenthal 

The  Blumenthal  Foundation 


x  • 


Acknowledgments  vii 

Preface  by  Herman  Blumenthal  ix 

Chronology  xv 

Chapter  One: 
Zebulon  B.  Vance,  a  Renowned  Statesman 

by  Maurice  A.  Weinstein,  Editor 









Political  Career  Launched 



The  War  Governor 



"The  Scattered  Nation" 



Jewish  Tributes 



Governor  Again 



United  States  Senator 



Outpouring  of  Grief 


Chapter  Two: 
"Zebulon  Vance  and  The  Scattered  Nation" 
bySeligAdler  35 

Chapter  Three: 
"The  Scattered  Nation" 
by  Zebulon  B .  Vance  61 


•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 


A    Excerpts  from  Memorial  Service  at 

Charlotte,  North  Carolina,  April  16, 
1894  97 

B     Excerpts  from  Memorial  Service  at 

Charlotte,  North  Carolina,  April  18, 
1894  100 

C     Excerpts  from  eulogy  delivered  by 

Senator  Matt  W.  Ransom  in  United 
States  Senate,  January  19,  1895 


D     Excerpts  from  address  by  Richard  H. 
Battle  at  dedication  of  statue  of 
Zebulon  B.  Vance  on  Capitol  Square 
in  Raleigh,  August  22,  1900 


E     Excerpts  from  address  by  Locke  Craig, 
Governor  of  North  Carolina,  at 
dedication  of  statue  of  Zebulon  B. 
Vance  in  Statuary  Hall  in  the  Capitol 
in  Washington  in  1916  123 

F     Excerpts  from  address  by  R.  L.  Taylor, 
Governor  of  Tennessee  at  dedication 
of  monument  at  Asheville,  May  10, 
1898.  ISO 

Selected  Bibliography  133 

Index  135 



following  page  14 

A    Birthplace  of  Vance  —  Reems 

Creek  Valley 
B     Vance  at  age  28 
C     First  law  office 
D     Vance  as  colonel  in  Confederate 


E     Desk  on  which  "The  Scattered 
Nation"  was  prepared  —  in 
Vance  Museum,  Reems  Creek 

F    Vance  monument  — 
Asheville,  N.  C. 

G     Vance  at  age  36 

H    Vance  residence,  Charlotte,  N.  C. 
I     Vance  statue  —  Capitol  Square, 
Raleigh,  N.  C. 

J     Vance  statue  —  Statuary  Hall, 
Washington,  D.  C. 




1830  May  13,  Born  at  Reems  Creek  Valley 

1851  Attended  University  of  North  Carolina 

185 1  Admitted  to  bar  at  Asheville 

1853  Married  to  Harriett  Newall  Espy 

1854  Elected  to  North  Carolina  House  of  Commons 

1858  Elected  to  United  States  House  of 


1859  Reelected  to  United  States  House  of 


1861  Colonel  in  Confederate  Army 

1862  Elected  Governor  of  North  Carolina 
1864  Reelected  Governor  of  North  Carolina 
1866—76  Practiced  law  in  Charlotte 
1868—73  Estimated  time  of  first  delivery  of 

"The  Scattered  Nation" 

1876  Reelected  Governor  of  North  Carolina 

1878  Harriett  Newall  Espy  Vance  passed  away 

1879  Elected  to  United  States  Senate 

1880  Married  to  Florence  Steele  Martin 
1885  Reelected  to  United  States  Senate 
1891  Reelected  to  United  States  Senate 

1894  April  14,  Zebulon  B.  Vance  passed  away 


Zebulon  B.Vance, 
a  Renowned 


Zebulon  B.Vance, 
a  Renowned 

by  Maurice  A.  Weinstein,  Editor 

''''Every thing  that  men  do  or  think 
concerns  the  satisfaction  of  the  needs  they  feel 
or  the  escape  from  pain" 
Albert  Einstein 

This  is  the  story  of  Zebulon 
Baird  Vance,  who  was  born  in  a  log  cabin  in  the  moun- 
tains of  North  Carolina  and  rose  to  become  a  renowned 

He  was  twice  elected  to  the  United  States  House  of  Rep- 
resentatives, three  times  as  Governor  of  North  Carolina, 
and  three  times  to  the  United  States  Senate. 

The  focus  of  this  work  is  Zebulon  B.  Vance  and  his  ora- 
tion: "The  Scattered  Nation."  However,  to  limit  this  book 
to  that  aspect  alone  would  deprive  the  reader  of  the  wide 
scope  of  the  unique  career  of  Vance  and  his  relationship 
to  "The  Scattered  Nation.'"  Accordingly,  this  chapter  will 
review  the  life  of  Vance,  not  only  for  that  purpose,  but 

•  3  . 

•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

also  to  revive  the  memory  of  the  man  and  his  outstanding 


Vance  was  a  dynamic  and  powerful  speaker;  before  juries 
and  other  audiences,  he  was  a  spellbinder.  His  speeches, 
both  impromptu  and  prepared,  were  replete  with  humor, 
wit  and  wisdom.  He  possessed  and  used  a  bottomless  well 
of  anecdotes  and  jokes— not  to  entertain,  but  to  illustrate 
his  concepts  and  to  make  his  points.  He  was  a  master  of 
sarcasm,  satire,  and  ridicule.  Especially  in  campaigns  in 
the  mountains,  he  was  known  to  tell  off-color  jokes. 

Vance's  impressive  appearance  enhanced  his  oratorical 
ability.  In  1916,  at  the  unveiling  of  the  statue  of  Vance  in 
Statuary  Hall  of  the  United  States  Capitol,  the  Governor 
of  North  Carolina,  Locke  Craig,  remarked: 

His  personal  appearance  was  unique.  He  did  not  look 
like  other  men.  No  man  who  saw  him  ever  forgot  him. 
His  magnetism  charmed  with  a  peculiar  and  indescrib- 
able power.  When  you  looked  upon  him,  you  knew  that 
you  beheld  the  lion-hearted  leader  of  men.1 

Vance  practiced  law  in  Charlotte,  North  Carolina,  for 
ten  years,  from  1866  to  1876.  Charlotte  was  a  small  town; 
the  1860  census  was  2,265,  and  in  1870, 4,473. 

When  Vance  appeared  in  trials  in  the  old  courthouse  on 
South  Try  on  Street  in  Charlotte,  the  stores  on  the  Square 
closed;  no  need  to  be  open,  almost  everyone  was  at  the 
courthouse,  or  trying  to  get  in,  to  hear  Zeb  Vance.  Vance 
usually  convinced  juries  of  the  righteousness  of  his  causes. 
There  was  an  important  exception:  In  Statesville  he  de- 
fended Tom  Dooley  (Dula)  in  a  murder  case  arising  out 
of  a  love  triangle;  Vance  served  without  fee  because  Dooley 
was  destitute  and  a  Civil  War  veteran.  Dooley  was  found 
guilty  and  sentenced  to  be  hanged.  The  trial  sparked  the 



famous  ballad:  "Hang  down  your  head,  Tom  Dooley,  hang 
down  your  head  and  cry." 

Judge  David  Schenck,  who  presided  over  trials  in  which 
Vance  appeared,  wrote  in  his  diary  that  Vance  was: 

...  an  orator  of  unexampled  power  both  in  the  power 
of  his  imagination  and  the  force  of  his  language;  he  han- 
dles pathos  with  delicate  tenderness  and  wields  the  fierce- 
ness of  satire  with  piercing  sharpness.  But  as  a  humorist 
he  has  no  equal,  perhaps  on  the  continent.2 

In  1864,  while  War  Governor,  Vance  went  to  Virginia 
on  a  speaking  tour  to  visit  the  North  Carolina  troops  of 
General  Robert  E.  Lee's  Army.  Vance  was  honored  with 
a  review  of  the  brigades;  General  Lee  and  Vance  rode  side 
by  side.  After  the  review,  Vance  addressed  the  troops.  Gen- 
eral J.E.B.  Stuart,  commander  of  the  cavalry,  after  the 
speech  said:  "If  the  test  of  eloquence  is  its  effect,  this  speech 
was  the  most  eloquent  ever  delivered."3  Dr.  Edward  War- 
ren, who  accompanied  Vance,  later  wrote:  "I  heard  Gen- 
eral Lee  remark  that  Governor  Vance's  visit  to  the  army 
has  been  equivalent  to  its  reinforcement  by  fifty  thousand 
men."4  No  doubt,  Vance  delivered  a  stirring  address;  the 
troops  were  deeply  moved  and  captivated.  Obviously,  Gen- 
erals Stuart  and  Lee  were  carried  away  and  engaged  in 
hyperbole  to  express  their  enthusiasm. 

Vance's  manner  of  speech  was  florid  and  ornate  in  keep- 
ing with  the  style  of  19th  century  oratory,  as  you  will  note 
in  "The  Scattered  Nation."  Vance's  thoughts  flowed  freely: 
"To  keep  pace  with  his  rapid  flow  of  thoughts,  Vance  spoke 
with  lightning-like  speed."5 

I  have  heard  it  said  that  the  rules  for  a  good  speech  are: 
"Be  sincere,  be  brief  and  be  seated."  Vance  was  always 
sincere,  but  he  frequently  violated  the  other  two  admoni- 

There  were  times  when  he  spoke  for  two  and  a  half 
hours.  Today,  if  a  speaker  exceeds  an  hour,  he  would  grad- 

•  5  • 

•   ZEBULON    B.   VANCE  • 

ually  lose  his  audience,  except  for  those  who  are  asleep. 
Not  so  with  Vance:  He  always  held  the  attention  of  his 
audience  throughout. 

At  the  present  time,  high  governmental  officials  retain 
speechwriters  to  prepare  their  speeches.  Not  Vance.  He 
always  prepared  his  lectures  and  without  help  from  others 
—frequently  by  candlelight  or  oil  lamp.  Of  course,  his  ex- 
temporaneous speeches  needed  no  preparation  and  they 
were  outstanding. 

Vance's  articulateness  is  well  established.  What  about 
the  substance,  content  and  ideas  expressed  in  his  lectures? 
A  fortuitous  event  often  turns  or  determines  the  course  of 
a  person's  life.  In  Vance's  life,  that  event  occurred  on  No- 
vember 6,  1827,  three  years  before  he  was  born:  a  duel 
between  Dr.  Robert  B.  Vance  of  Asheville,  an  uncle  of 
Zeb  Vance,  and  Samuel  P.  Carson  of  Morganton,  a  Con- 

In  1823,  Carson  had  encouraged  Dr.  Vance  to  run  for 
Congress  against  Felix  Walker— who  had  been  one  of 
Daniel  Boone's  companions.  Dr.  Vance  won  by  one  vote. 
After  one  term  Carson  decided  to  run  for  Congress  against 
Dr.  Vance  and  defeated  him.  During  the  campaign  the  can- 
didates hurled  insults  against  each  other  causing  intense 
antagonism.  Carson  challenged  Dr.  Vance  to  a  duel  and 
the  offer  was  accepted.  Duels  were  unlawful  in  North  Caro- 
lina, so  they  held  the  event  across  the  South  Carolina  line 
at  Saluda  Gap— a  marker  designates  the  place. 

Among  those  present  was  Davy  Crockett  ("Davy,  Davy 
Crockett,  king  of  the  wild  frontier"),  the  coach  who  had 
been  instructing  Carson  in  the  use  of  the  pistol.  On  the 
signal,  Carson  fired  and  the  bullet  struck  Dr.  Vance.  It  was 

Prior  to  the  duel,  Dr.  Vance  prepared  his  will  in  which 
he  bequeathed  his  library  of  about  five  hundred  volumes 
of  classical  literature  to  Zeb  Vance's  father,  David  Vance, 

.  6  • 


II.  Among  the  books  were  the  works  of  Tacitus,  Cicero, 
Scott,  Swift,  Pope,  Byron,  Shakespeare,  Milton  and  the 
Bible.6  Zeb  Vance's  mother  read  to  her  children  from  the 
books,  and,  inspired  by  her,  Zeb  became  a  diligent  reader. 
He  remembered  much  of  what  he  read,  and  that  retention 
is  revealed  in  his  lectures  as  you  will  see  in  "The  Scattered 
Nation."  He  was  a  student  throughout  his  life.  "He  became 
a  man  who  knew  the  use  and  power  of  words.  Words  were 
his  tools;  words  sent  him  off  to  leadership  and  greatness. 
They  made  him  an  orator,  and  where  could  they  have 
sprung  from  except  these  books?"7 

Illustrative  of  his  erudition  is  his  commencement  address 
at  Wake  Forest  College  in  1872,  while  he  was  practicing 
law  in  Charlotte : 

Nor  can  we  rely  upon  the  spread  of  learning  and  in- 
telligence, to  preserve  the  free  institutions  of  our  fathers 
in  all  their  vigor  and  purity.  History  is  a  wonderful  de- 
stroyer of  theories,  and  this  fond  one  of  ours  is  likely  to 
be  overthrown  by  facts.  If  intelligence  and  virtue  were 
synonymous,  our  confidence  in  it  would  be  justified.  But 
educated  men  are  no  more  virtuous  than  ignorance  is 
always  wicked.  And  I  believe  that  educated  bad  men,  in 
all  ages,  have  done  more  hurt  to  the  world  than  all  the 
ignorance  that  has  ever  existed.  How  many  nations  have 
lost  their  liberties  through  the  wickedness  of  the  learned? 
The  brightest  age  of  Athenian  eloquence,  philosophy  and 
art,  made  the  least  resistance  to  corruption.  The  noblest 
orator,  and  the  greatest  poet  of  the  Augustan  age  of 
Roman  letters  vied  in  the  glorification  of  despotism  and 
venality.  The  polite  reign  of  Charles  II  rotted  England 
to  the  core,  and  laid  her  liberties  so  low  that  only  revolu- 
tion and  a  change  of  dynasty  could  revive  them.  .  .  .8 

In  1868,  Vance  delivered  the  eulogy  at  a  memorial  cere- 
mony for  David  L.  Swain,  a  dear  friend  of  Vance,  a  for- 
mer governor  and  long-time  President  of  the  University  of 
North  Carolina. 

•   ZEBULON    B.   VANCE  • 

Vance  was  offered  the  presidency  of  the  University  of 
North  Carolina,  but  respectfully  declined. 

Davidson  College  and  the  University  of  North  Carolina 
awarded  Vance  honorary  doctorate  degrees. 


Zebulon  B.  Vance  came  from  a  long  lineage  of  patriots  and 
public  servants.  His  grandfather,  David  Vance  I,  was  a 
Lieutenant  Colonel  in  the  Revolutionary  War;  he  fought 
in  battles  at  Kings  Mountain,  Brandywine,  Germantown 
and  Valley  Forge.  David  I  was  of  Scotch-Irish  descent. 
In  1775  he  married  Priscilla  Brank,  who  lived  in  Burke 
County  and  was  of  German  descent.  After  the  war,  Vance  I 
acquired  land  along  Reems  Creek  Valley  near  Asheville, 
and  there  he  built  a  cabin  of  pine  logs.  David  I  and  Pris- 
cilla had  eight  children— one  wonders  after  seeing  the  re- 
stored log  cabin,  how  they  crammed  eight  children  into 
that  log  cabin.  One  of  the  children  was  David  II,  who  be- 
came the  father  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance. 

David  II  married  Mira  Margaret  Baird  in  1825.  They 
also  had  eight  children  and  lived  in  the  same  log  cabin.  Her 
father  was  Zebulon  Baird— that's  where  Zebulon  B.  Vance 
obtained  his  first  and  middle  names.  Zebulon  Vance  was 
born  in  1830,  at  the  time  Andrew  Jackson  was  President  of 
the  United  States.  Zebulon  Baird  cleared  the  land  that  be- 
came Asheville.  David  II  enlisted  in  the  War  of  1812,  but 
before  he  was  called  to  duty,  the  war  was  over. 

Vance's  brother,  Robert  B.  Vance,  was  a  Brigadier  Gen- 
eral in  the  Confederate  Army.  An  uncle,  Dr.  Robert  Brank 
Vance,  was  a  member  of  the  United  States  House  of  Rep- 

Frontis  W.  Johnston,  Professor  of  History  at  Davidson 
College,  summarized  the  heritage  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance: 

Above  all  there  was  received  from  both  sides  of  the 
family  a  sense  of  public  duty  and  a  tradition  of  pub- 



lie  service.  His  immediate  ancestors  had  served  thirteen 
terms  in  the  North  Carolina  House  of  Commons  and  six 
terms  in  the  North  Carolina  Senate.  His  two  grandfathers 
had  served  for  more  than  a  score  of  years  as  the  first  clerks 
of  court  of  their  respective  counties.  In  addition,  his  ances- 
tors had  enlisted  in  both  wars  in  which  his  country  had 
been  involved  at  the  time  of  his  own  birth;  his  uncle 
had  been  a  United  States  Congressman;  his  brother  was 
to  serve  eight  years  as  clerk  of  court  and  six  terms  in 
the  United  States  House  of  Representatives,  as  well  as 
shorter  terms  in  the  State  Legislature  and  in  the  United 
States  Treasury  Department.  The  career  of  Zebulon  Baird 
Vance  in  both  war  and  public  office  must  have  appeared 
to  him  but  a  fulfillment  of  family  tradition.9 

An  integral  part  of  Vance's  heritage  was  the  beauty  of 
the  mountains  that  surrounded  Reems  Creek  Valley.  In 
reading  "The  Scattered  Nation,"  you  will  note  descriptions 
of  the  mountains  to  illustrate  points. 

In  1850  he  studied  law  under  John  W.  Woodfin,  an 
Asheville  lawyer.  Afterwards,  he  wrote  to  David  L.  Swain, 
President  of  the  University  of  North  Carolina,  a  former 
Governor  and  a  former  sweetheart  of  Vance's  mother,  to 
request  a  loan  of  $200  to  help  pay  for  one  year  at  the  Uni- 
versity. The  loan  was  granted,  and  he  was  admitted  to  the 
University.  He  arrived  at  Chapel  Hill  in  July,  1851,  where 
he  engaged  in  general  studies  and  law.  Swain  became  a 
lifelong  friend  and  advisor  to  Vance.  Swain  taught  consti- 
tutional, international  and  moral  law,  and  Vance  was  one 
of  his  students.  The  teachings  of  Swain  influenced  Vance 
throughout  his  career— especially  in  the  area  of  individual 
freedom.  Close  friendships  were  also  formed  with  Kemp  P. 
Battle  and  his  brother,  Richard  H.  Battle,  both  of  whom 
played  important  roles  in  Vance's  career.  In  1900  Richard 
H.  Battle  delivered  the  address  at  the  unveiling  of  the  statue 
of  Vance  on  the  capitol  grounds  in  Raleigh. 

In  1851  Vance  was  admitted  to  the  bar,  and  entered  the 
practice  of  law  in  Asheville.  In  1852  he  was  elected  solicitor 

.  9  • 

•   ZEBULON    B.   VANCE  • 

of  Buncombe  County;  his  opponent  was  Augustus  Merri- 
man— later  to  become  Chief  Justice  of  the  Supreme  Court 
of  North  Carolina  and  United  States  Senator.  Vance  was 
on  his  way  to  launching  a  career  that  would  lead  to  his  be- 
coming a  renowned  statesman. 

Political  Career  Launched 

In  1854,  Vance  raised  his  political  ambition  beyond  the 
horizon  of  the  mountains.  Vance  was  a  Whig  because  of 
this  party's  pro-Union  propensities,  which  coincided  with 
his  firm  beliefs.  The  Democratic  Party  tended  to  encourage 
states'  rights.  He  announced  as  a  candidate  for  the  House 
of  Commons— a  holdover  name  from  the  House  of  Com- 
mons in  England— the  name  was  changed  to  the  House  of 
Representatives  in  1868.  His  opponent,  Daniel  Reynolds, 
claimed  that  Vance  was  too  young  for  the  office  he  sought; 
Vance  was  then  24.  Vance  retorted:  "I  must  admit  I  am 
young,  but  it  is  not  my  fault.  My  parents  did  not  consult 
me  as  to  the  time  when  I  should  be  born.  All  I  can  do  is  to 
promise  to  try  to  do  better  next  time."10  He  should  have 
added:  "That's  something  that  time  will  remedy."  He  was 

Next,  Vance  ran  for  the  North  Carolina  Senate  and  was 
defeated  by  David  Coleman.  In  1857  Vance  was  a  candidate 
for  election  to  the  United  States  House  of  Representatives 
against  the  prominent  Thomas  Lanier  Clingman,  a  long- 
time member  of  the  House  of  Representatives.  Again, 
Vance  went  down  to  defeat. 

In  1858,  Clingman  was  appointed  to  the  United  States 
Senate.  A  special  election  was  held  to  fill  the  vacancy. 
Vance  was  undaunted,  and  at  the  age  of  twenty-eight  an- 
nounced that  he  would  seek  election  to  the  United  States 
House  of  Representatives  as  a  member  of  the  American 
Know-Nothing  Party.  His  opponent  was  William  W.  Av- 
ery for  the  Democratic  Party,  a  prominent  leader  from 

.  10- 


Burke  County.  There  was  an  intense  campaign  over  the 
fifteen  counties,  including  Buncombe  County,  in  the  dis- 
trict. The  campaign  "set  the  mountains  on  fire.11  At  one 
stop,  Vance  arrived  with  a  crowd  of  men  leaping  and  danc- 
ing around  him  as  he  played  the  fiddle."12  Vance  condemned 
the  secessionist  proclivity  of  the  Democrats  and  declared 
vehemently  for  the  Union.  Vance  was  victorious. 

In  December  1858,  Vance  went  to  Washington  to  enter 
the  United  States  House  of  Representatives— a  long  way 
from  the  log  cabin  on  Reems  Creek.  One  of  his  colleagues 
wrote  about  Vance  that  he  was  "strong  in  integrity,  won- 
drous in  vitality  .  .  .  and  a  strict  Federalist  after  an  intense 
union  pattern.  His  voice  was  never  heard  at  Washington 
for  disunion."13 

He  criticized  the  treasury  deficit:  "As  we  are  in  debt, 
and  spending  more  than  our  income,  and  as  our  income  is 
derived  principally  from  the  tariff,  we  have  to  do  one  of 
three  things:  either  raise  the  income,  lower  our  expenses, 
or  walk  into  the  insolvent  court.  .  .  ."u  It  sounds  like  the 
current  days. 

In  1859,  Vance  ran  for  reelection  to  the  United  States 
House  of  Representatives;  this  time  in  behalf  of  the  Whig 
Party.  His  opponent  was  David  Coleman  for  the  Dem- 
ocratic Party,  the  man  who  defeated  Vance  when  he  ran 
for  the  North  Carolina  Senate.  Vance  defeated  Coleman 
by  a  margin  of  seventeen  hundred  votes.  The  Congress 
convened  on  December  5, 1859. 

The  dark  clouds  of  secession  and  war  were  on  the  hori- 
zon; there  was  a  mounting  controversy  between  the  ab- 
olitionists of  the  North  and  the  secessionists  of  the  South. 

In  Congress  and  in  North  Carolina,  Vance  spoke  out  for 
union  and  against  secession.  In  1860,  a  Whig  convention 
was  held  in  Salisbury  at  which  Vance  delivered  two  stir- 
ring pro-Union  addresses.  Richard  H.  Battle  wrote  that 
he  ".  .  .  held  up  to  their  gaze  a  dark  picture  of  the  horrors 
to  follow  secession  and  disunion,  all  became  subject  to  his 

.  11  • 

•  ZEBU  LON   B.  VANCE  • 

magnetism  .  .  .  and  when  he  closed,  the  streets  of  the  town 
and  the  hills  around  long  reverberated  with  their  enthusi- 
astic shouts."15  Up  to  this  time  Vance  was  principally 
known  in  the  mountains;  now,  his  fame  was  growing  across 
North  Carolina.  Among  those  present  was  William  A.  Gra- 
ham, a  former  governor,  senator  and  Secretary  of  the  Navy; 
he  became  a  long-time  friend  and  advisor  of  Vance. 

On  November  30, 1860,  two  members  of  Congress  from 
South  Carolina,  Boyce  and  Ashmore,  addressed  a  crowd  in 
Raleigh  in  which  they  favored  secession.  Afterwards,  across 
the  street  Vance  delivered  a  speech  that  lasted  two  hours. 
Boyce  and  Ashmore  said  that  if  the  South  seceded,  it  would 
have  the  protection  of  England.  To  this  Vance  responded 
that  "it  would  be  a  protection  that  our  forefathers  had 
waged  a  seven  years  war  to  escape."  His  humble  grand- 
father, Vance  said,  "had  shed  his  blood  to  escape  this  pro- 
tection, and  now  his  grandson  was  called  upon  to  fight  to 
regain  it."16 

Abraham  Lincoln  was  elected  President  on  November  5, 
1860,  and  inaugurated  on  March  4,  1861.  Lincoln's  elec- 
tion precipitated  the  secession  of  the  states  in  the  lower 
South;  South  Carolina  left  the  Union  on  December  20, 
1860.  On  April  13,  1861,  Fort  Sumter,  at  Charleston,  was 
bombarded  and  surrendered  to  the  Confederacy. 

When  Fort  Sumter  was  fired  upon  and  President  Lin- 
coln called  upon  North  Carolina  to  furnish  seventy-five 
thousand  soldiers  for  the  Union  forces  (declined  by  Gov- 
ernor John  W.  Ellis),  Vance  changed  his  mind.  Here  are 
his  words: 

For  myself,  I  will  say  that  I  was  canvassing  for  the 
Union  with  all  my  strength;  I  was  addressing  a  large  and 
excited  crowd,  large  numbers  of  whom  were  armed,  and 
literally  had  my  arm  extended  upward  in  pleading  for 
peace  and  the  Union  of  our  Fathers,  when  the  tele- 
graphic news  was  announced  of  the  firing  on  Sumter  and 
[the]  President's  call  for  seventy-five  thousand  volunteers. 



When  my  hand  came  down  from  that  impassioned  gesti- 
culation, it  fell  slowly  and  sadly  by  the  side  of  a  Secession- 
ist. I  immediately,  with  altered  voice  and  manner,  called 
upon  the  assembled  multitude  to  volunteer,  not  to  fight 
against  but  for  South  Carolina.17 

Secession  by  North  Carolina  was  becoming  inevitable; 
on  April  15,  1861,  Governor  Ellis  ordered  the  occupation 
of  Forts  Macon,  Caswell  and  Johnston— the  coastal  forti- 
fications.18 "On  April  20,  a  company  of  Charlotte  Greys 
seized  the  mint,  and  ten  days  later, .  .  .  the  arsenal  [at  Fay- 
etteville]  surrendered.  .  .  ,19 

On  May  20,  1861,  a  convention  created  by  the  General 
Assembly  of  North  Carolina  voted  for  secession,  and  also 
ratified  the  Provisional  Constitution  of  the  Confederate 
States  of  America.  North  Carolina  was  the  last  State  to  join 
the  Confederacy. 

It  was  necessary  for  Vance  to  leave  Congress  because  his 
State  was  no  longer  one  of  the  states  of  the  United  States 
of  America. 

Vance  organized  a  company  of  volunteers,  and,  as  its 
Captain,  marched  to  war.  Later  he  was  promoted  to  Colonel 
of  the  Twenty-Sixth  North  Carolina  Regiment.  He  led  his 
troops  into  battle  at  New  Bern  and  Malvern  Hill.  "He 
became  something  of  a  hero  throughout  the  State. . .  ."20 

The  War  Governor 

August  6,  1862,  was  the  date  to  elect  a  new  Governor  of 
North  Carolina.  William  W.  Holden,  editor  of  The  Weekly 
Standard  in  Raleigh  organized  the  Conservative  Party— a 
new  one.  Holden  proposed  and  supported  Vance  for  Gov- 
ernor. Augustus  S.  Merriman  visited  the  editor  of  The 
Fayetteville  Observer,  a  prominent  newspaper,  and  secured 
an  endorsement  for  Vance.  There  was  no  party  convention 
that  selected  a  candidate;  Vance  was  selected  by  consensus 
of  many  leaders  and  newspapers. 

.  13  • 

•  ZEBULON   B .  VANCE  • 

The  other  candidate  was  William  Johnston  of  Charlotte, 
a  railroad  official,  running  under  the  banner  of  the  Confed- 
erate party.  The  election  was  unique:  There  was  no  cam- 
paigning, no  speeches,  no  platforms,  no  public  gatherings, 
no  paid  advertisements  and  no  managers.  Vance  relied  upon 
his  record,  his  fame,  his  diligence  and  his  reputation  for 
truthfulness.  The  campaigning  was  by  newspapers  sup- 
porting one  candidate  or  the  other.  Vance  remained  in  com- 
mand of  his  regiment  at  Petersburg;  he  made  an  announce- 
ment that  "a  true  man  should  ...  be  willing  to  serve  wher- 
ever the  public  voice  may  assign  him.  ...  I  should  consider 
it  the  crowning  glory  of  my  life  to  be  placed  in  a  position 
where  I  could  most  advance  the  interests  and  honor  of 
North  Carolina."21 

Vance  at  the  age  of  thirty-two  was  elected  Governor  of 
North  Carolina  by  a  landslide. 

The  band  of  the  26th  Regiment  came  to  the  inauguration 
and  played  while  the  crowd  gathered,  including  the  "Gov- 
ernor Vance's  Inauguration  March"  composed  for  the  occa- 
sion. Vance,  as  usual,  delivered  a  stirring  address.  He  prom- 
ised a  vigorous  prosecution  of  the  war,  and  further  declared 
"to  hold  the  helm  during  ...  the  great  storm;  to  manage 
.  .  .  public  liabilities;  to  search  out  the  talent  and  worth  of 
the  country  and  to  bring  it  into  the  service  of  the  State;  and 
to  clothe  and  organize  our  troops  and  to  do  justice  to  merit 
in  the  field."22 

Celebrating  an  inauguration  was  one  thing,  but  con- 
fronting tumultuous  times,  in  the  midst  of  a  war,  was 
another  and  a  perplexing  matter.  The  Union  forces  occu- 
pied Roanoke  Island  and  New  Bern  and  threatened  further 

Soon  after  the  inauguration,  Lee's  army  suffered  defeat 
and  retreat  at  the  battle  of  Sharpsburg-Antietam,  with 
thousands  of  dead  and  wounded.  Vance  called  upon  Sur- 
geon General  Warren  to  collect  surgical  and  medical  sup- 
plies; then  both  were  off  to  Virginia  to  help  the  returning 

.  14. 

B.  Zebulon  B.  Vance,  age  28.  Elected  to  U.S. 
House  of  Representatives.  Courtesy  of  N.C. 
Division  of  Archives  and  History. 

C.  Vance's  first  law  office  in  Asheville,  1851.  From 
Dowd,  Clement,  Life  of  Vance,  (Charlotte,  1897). 

D.  Three  Confederate  colonels:  (L  to  R)  J.  R.  Lane,  H.  K.  Burgwin 
and  Zebulon  B.  Vance  in  1861.  Painting  by  W.  G.  Randall.  Courtesy 
N.C.  Division  of  Archives  and  History. 

E.  Vance's  desk  located  at  Vance  Museum  in  Reems  Creek  Valley.  On 
this  desk,  "The  Scattered  Nation"  was  prepared  at  Charlotte.  Photogra- 
pher: Randall  Cox. 

F.  Vance  Monument  at  Pack  Square  in  Asheville  (1898).  Photog- 
rapher: Randall  Cox. 

H.  Vance's  Charlotte  residence,  1866-1876.  From  Dowd,  Clement, 
Life  of  Vance  (Charlotte,  1897). 

J.  Statue  of  Vance  in  Statuary  Hall  in  the  Capitol,  Washington 
veiled  1916). 


wounded  soldiers— Warren  to  give  medical  treatment  and 
Vance  to  cheer  them  on. 

There  was  a  shortage  of  clothing,  leather  and  food  for 
the  soldiers,  and  the  wives  and  children  of  the  troops  were 
impoverished.  Vance,  in  a  proclamation,  called  upon  the 
people  to  donate  shoes,  socks,  blankets,  shirts  and  trousers 
for  the  troops.  There  was  a  dire  scarcity  of  salt  required 
for  curing  meat;  Vance  established  saltworks  along  the 
coast  to  derive  salt  from  the  sea.  He  arranged  to  provide 
food  and  other  needs  for  destitute  widows,  wives  and  chil- 
dren of  the  soldiers. 

The  vessels  of  the  Union  patrolled  the  sea  at  the  entrance 
to  Wilmington,  the  only  port  in  North  Carolina,  in  an  effort 
to  blockade  ship  traffic  to  and  from  Wilmington.  Upon 
Vance's  call,  the  General  Assembly  provided  funds  to  pur- 
chase a  ship— the  name  was  changed  to  Ad-Vance— and 
also  interests  in  other  vessels  to  run  the  blockade.  The  ships 
were  successful  in  running  the  blockade.  They  transported 
cotton  and  tobacco  to  Bermuda  and  then  to  England  in  ex- 
change for  food,  medicine,  shoes,  clothing,  machinery  and 
munitions.  The  blockade  running  was  crucial  to  the  sur- 
vival of  the  Confederacy  and  to  North  Carolina.  After 
twelve  voyages,  the  Ad- Vance  was  captured  on  January  15, 
1865.  Fort  Fisher  was  captured  by  Union  forces— as  a  result 
Wilmington  fell  and  blockade  running  ceased,  a  severe 
blow  to  the  Confederacy  and  to  North  Carolina. 

In  1862,  when  the  Norfolk  Navy  yard  was  endangered 
by  the  approach  of  the  Federal  forces,  Vance  arranged  for 
it  to  be  moved  to  Charlotte,  where  it  operated  for  three  years 
on  East  Trade  Street  at  the  railroad— a  sign  "Confederate 
States  Navy  yard  1862-1865"  is  at  that  location.  It  did  not 
build  ships;  it  built  fittings,  propellers  and  armament.23 

Vance  was  a  fervent  protector  of  individual  rights.  The 
Confederate  Congress  had  authorized  President  Davis  to 
suspend  the  writ  of  habeas  corpus.  That  is  a  treasured  pro- 
cedure inherited  from  England— the  writ  is  an  order  that 



a  prisoner  be  brought  before  a  court  to  determine  the  le- 
gality of  his  detention.  Confederate  authorities  in  North 
Carolina  had  been  imprisoning  citizens  upon  suspicion  that 
they  were  disloyal  to  the  Confederacy.  Vance  said  if  North 
Carolinians  were  deprived  of  the  right  of  habeas  corpus, 
"he  would  issue  a  proclamation  recalling  the  North  Caro- 
lina soldiers  from  Virginia,  and  call  out  the  State's  militia 
to  protect  the  liberties  of  the  citizens."24 

Later  in  a  speech,  Vance  remarked:  "The  laws  were 
heard  amidst  the  roar  of  cannon.  No  man  within  the  juris- 
diction of  the  State  of  North  Carolina  was  denied  the  priv- 
ilege of  the  writ  of  habeas  corpus,  the  right  of  trial  by  jury, 
or  the  equal  protection  of  the  laws,  as  provided  by  our  Con- 
stitution and  the  Bill  of  Rights."25 

In  addition  to  the  complaint  about  habeas  corpus,  Vance 
complained  frequently  to  Jefferson  Davis— some  commun- 
ications were  strident.  Carl  Sandburg,  famous  poet  and  bi- 
ographer, wrote:  "The  break  between  Vance  and  the  Davis 
Government  at  Richmond  ran  deep,  the  feeling  bitter."26 
Lincoln  was  urged  to  reach  out  to  Vance  and  was  told, 
Sandburg  wrote,  "Vance  would  welcome  reunion  of  the 
States  and  peace  compatible  with  honor.  .  . .  Whether  Lin- 
coln . . .  convinced  Vance  that  peace  efforts  would  be  worth- 
while was  not  clear."27 

Nevertheless,  Vance  wrote  Davis  urging  peace  negotia- 
tions. To  send  peace  proposals  was,  Davis  responded,  "to 
invite  insult  and  contumely,  and  to  subject  ourselves  to  in- 
dignity without  the  slightest  chance  of  being  listened  to," 
and  further,  "I  fear  much,  from  the  tenor  of  the  news  I 
receive  from  North  Carolina,  that  an  attempt  will  be  made 
by  some  bad  men  to  inaugurate  movements  which  must  be 
considered  as  equivalent  to  aid  and  comfort  to  the  enemy, 
and  which  all  patriots  should  combine  to  put  down  at  any 

William  W.  Holden,  the  avid  supporter  of  the  election 
of  Vance  in  1862  and  editor  of  The  Weekly  Standard, 

.  16  • 


launched  a  movement  for  North  Carolina  to  enter  into 
negotiations  with  the  Union  for  a  separate  peace.  Vance 
favored  peace,  but  only  in  coordination  with  the  Confed- 
eracy. Vance  wrote  that  the  seeking  of  a  separate  peace 
would  "steep  the  name  of  North  Carolina  in  infamy . . ."  and 
that  he  would  ".  .  .  see  Holden  in  hell .  .  .  before  he  would 
consent  to  a  separate  peace."29 

Vance  decided  to  run  for  a  second  term.  Holden  an- 
nounced as  Vance's  opponent.  The  election  was  held  on 
August  4,  1864— the  governor's  term  then  was  two  years. 
Vance  campaigned  throughout  the  State— a  speech  in  Wil- 
mington lasted  for  two  and  one-half  hours.  As  part  of  his 
response  to  Holden's  demand  for  a  separate  peace,  Vance 
remarked  that  he  told  the  troops  to  "fight  till  hell  froze 
over  and  then  fight  on  the  ice."30  Vance  defeated  Holden 
overwhelmingly.  Vance's  formidable  speaking  ability  won 
the  day. 

As  previously  noted,  on  January  15,  1865,  Fort  Fisher 
fell  and  thereafter  Wilmington  was  occupied  by  Union 
troops.  This  was  an  ominous  event  for  North  Carolina 
and  the  Confederacy.  Later,  the  Union  forces  under  the 
command  of  General  William  Tecumseh  Sherman  con- 
quered the  eastern  counties  and  were  approaching  Raleigh 
—  110,000  men  strong.  The  subjugation  of  the  State  Cap- 
itol was  imminent.  Vance  transferred  records  and  military 
equipment  to  the  western  part  of  the  State.  Vance  had  pre- 
viously sent  his  family  to  Statesville  for  greater  security.  On 
April  1 1 ,  Vance  received  a  message  that  General  Lee  had 
surrendered  to  Grant  at  Appomattox.  On  April  12  Vance 
sent  his  close  friends  and  former  governors,  Graham  and 
Swain,  as  emissaries  to  General  Sherman  for  terms  under 
which  Vance  could  remain  in  Raleigh  to  conduct  affairs  of 
government  and  to  request  protection  of  Raleigh.  His  emis- 
saries were  delayed  in  returning,  and  at  midnight  Vance 
departed  Raleigh  on  horseback  to  General  Robert  Hoke's 
encampment— a  Confederate  camp.  Jefferson  Davis  invited 


•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

Vance  to  meet  him  in  Greensboro  where  the  Confederate 
Cabinet  was  meeting;  when  Vance  arrived  in  Greensboro 
he  learned  that  Davis  and  his  cabinet  had  moved  to  Char- 
lotte on  April  19.  Vance  followed  and  met  with  Davis  at  the 
Bank  of  North  Carolina  at  122  South  Tryon  Street.  Davis 
suggested  that  the  remains  of  the  Confederate  Army  re- 
treat beyond  the  Mississippi,  and  proposed  that  Vance  ac- 
company him  with  the  North  Carolina  troops.  Davis  was 
discouraged  and  this  idea  was  dropped.  While  in  Charlotte, 
Davis  received  word  that  Abraham  Lincoln  had  been  assas- 
sinated. Vance  bid  Davis  farewell,  and  after  further  stops 
and  meetings,  proceeded  to  Statesville  to  be  with  his  family. 

The  Confederate  Army  in  North  Carolina,  under  the 
command  of  General  Joseph  E.  Johnston,  on  April  18  sur- 
rendered to  General  Sherman. 

Sherman  and  his  army  arrived  in  Raleigh  on  April  13. 
The  Confederate  flag  on  the  Capitol  was  lowered  and  the 
stars  and  stripes  were  hoisted.  Sherman  made  the  Gov- 
ernor's mansion  his  temporary  headquarters.  His  troops 
marched  up  Fayetteville  Street  and  Sherman  watched  them 
in  review  at  the  Capitol.31 

Professor  Frontis  W.  Johnston  wrote  about  Vance: 

His  career  as  War  Governor  is  more  responsible  than 
any  other  thing  for  the  fact  that  North  Carolina  has  loved, 
idolized,  and  rewarded  no  other  man  in  her  history  as  she 
has  Zebulon  Baird  Vance.32 

On  May  11,  1865,  General  Ulysses  S.  Grant  issued  an 
order  to  Major  General  J.  M.  Schofield,  Commander  of 
Union  Forces  in  North  Carolina:  "By  direction  of  the  Pres- 
ident [Andrew  Johnson]  you  will  at  once  arrest  Zebulon  B. 
Vance,  late  Rebel  Governor  of  North  Carolina." 

On  May  13,  1865,  Vance's  home  at  Statesville  was  sur- 
rounded by  about  three  hundred  Federal  cavalry  and  Vance 
was  placed  under  arrest.  Vance  was  escorted  to  the  train 
station  at  Salisbury  and  then  to  Washington  where  he  was 



incarcerated  in  the  Old  Capitol  Prison.  He  was  not  charged 
with  any  criminal  violation,  just  taken  to  jail.  Vance  was 
granted  a  parole  and  released  from  prison  on  July  6,  1865, 
on  condition  that  he  remain  in  North  Carolina  ( unless  per- 
mission granted  to  travel  further)  subject  to  President 
Johnson's  further  orders.  Later  President  Johnson,  a  na- 
tive of  North  Carolina  and  acquaintance  of  Vance,  issued 
a  full  pardon. 

"The  Scattered  Nation" 

"The  Scattered  Nation"  was  acclaimed  as  Vance's  greatest 

The  thrust  of  "The  Scattered  Nation"  was  an  ardent  ap- 
peal for  friendship  with  the  Jewish  people.  Vance  said: 
".  .  .  there  remains  among  us  an  unreasonable  prejudice 
of  which  I  am  heartily  ashamed.  Our  toleration  will  not  be 
complete  until  we  put  it  away. . . ."  And  further:  "...  I  con- 
sider it  a  grave  reproach  not  only  to  us,  but  to  all  Christen- 
dom that  such  injustice  is  permitted  anywhere."33 

The  date  on  which  "The  Scattered  Nation"  was  first  de- 
livered and  the  number  of  years  over  which  it  was  delivered 
appear  to  be  uncertain.  Franklin  Ray  Shirley,  Professor  at 
Wake  Forest  University,  in  1962,  wrote:  "Vance's  greatest 
lecture,  'The  Scattered  Nation'  was  delivered  for  the  first 
time  on  February  13,  1874.  ...  It  seems  certain  that  over  a 
period  of  fifteen  years  'The  Scattered  Nation'  was  delivered 
hundreds  of  times  and  in  almost  every  important  city  in  the 
United  States.34 

On  the  other  hand,  Selig  Adler  found  "internal  evidence 
within"  that  the  speech  would  indicate  that  it  was  written 
between  1868  and  1873,  and  that  it  was  delivered  over 
"fifteen  to  twenty  years." 

Vance  prepared  "The  Scattered  Nation"  while  practic- 
ing law  in  Charlotte;  his  roll-top  desk  is  on  display  at  the 
Vance  Museum  at  Reems  Creek  Valley;  on  the  desk  is  a 

.  19  • 


sign  stating  that  "The  Scattered  Nation"  was  prepared  on 
this  desk. 

The  Charlotte  and  South  Carolina  Railroad  arrived  in 
Charlotte  in  1852,  and  the  Vance  family  lived  along  the 
tracks  at  6th  Street— with  the  porch  facing  the  railroad. 
Vance  and  his  wife,  Harriett,  and  their  four  sons,  Charles, 
David,  Zebulon,  Jr.  and  Thomas,  attended  the  First  Pres- 
byterian Church  on  West  Trade  Street— a  bronze  plaque, 
with  his  name  on  it,  is  still  on  their  pew.  He  was  not  an  ad- 
herent of  the  Presbyterian  Church  until  later  in  life. 

As  noted  previously,  Vance  was  famous  for  using  anec- 
dotes and  humor,  but  in  "The  Scattered  Nation"  he  was 
completely  serious  and  solemn. 

Of  course,  during  Vance's  days,  there  was  no  television, 
radio  nor  motion-picture  theaters.  Lyceums  were  popular— 
a  hall  in  which  lectures  and  concerts  were  presented.  Vance 
drew  crowds  for  the  speech  because  of  his  fame  as  a  lec- 
turer, and  the  title  of  the  lecture  aroused  curiosity. 

In  the  speech  he  revealed  his  scholarship,  and  his  keen 
knowledge  of  Jewish  history  and  the  Bible;  and  he  referred 
to  the  writings  of  Tacitus,  Socrates,  Josephus,  Macaulay 
and  Machiavelli.  As  a  busy  lawyer,  it  is  remarkable  that  he 
found  time  to  prepare  this  outstanding  speech. 

Important  questions  arise:  What  inspired  Vance  to  extol 
Judaism  and  the  Jews  when  others  were  defaming  or  silent? 
What  motivated  Vance  to  prepare  and  deliver  "The  Scat- 
tered Nation"?  What  impelled  Vance  to  travel  to  many  dis- 
tant cities,  and  deliver  the  oration  to  numerous  audiences? 
These  queries  arose  in  the  mind  of  Dr.  Selig  Adler,  Distin- 
guished Professor  of  History  at  the  University  of  Buffalo. 
Over  fifty  years  ago,  in  1939,  he  came  to  North  Carolina  to 
search  for  the  answers.  Adler  engaged  in  extensive  re- 
search: he  visited  Charlotte,  Asheville,  Statesville,  Raleigh, 
and  Chapel  Hill;  he  conferred  with  people,  still  living,  who 
knew  Vance;  he  read  old  newspaper  clippings  at  the  Uni- 
versity of  North  Carolina,  and  he  read  much  of  Vance's 



correspondence  at  the  archives  of  the  North  Carolina  Divi- 
sion of  Archives  and  History.  He  then  wrote  an  essay  that 
was  published  in  The  Journal  of  Southern  History  in  1941 
entitled  "Zebulon  B.  Vance  and  The  Scattered  Nation.'  "35 
His  article  is  republished  in  this  book  as  Chapter  Two. 
Adler  answers  the  above  questions  in  a  fascinating  essay. 
Vance  in  his  oration  said  the  Jews  are  to  be  found  ".  .  . 

in  almost  all  of  the  cities  of  the  globe  "  What  caused  this 

scattering  from  which  the  speech  takes  its  title?  Vance  says 
the  Jewish  people  suffered  "in  the  fiercest  fires  of  human 
cruelty,  though  heated  seven  times  in  the  furnace  of  re- 
ligious bigotry.  .  .  ,"36  The  migrations  from  Europe  were 
principally  caused  by  that  "cruelty"  and  "religious  bigotry." 
Then,  what  caused  the  "cruelty"  and  the  "religious  big- 

The  theology  of  Christianity  taught  that  the  destruction 
of  the  Second  Temple  by  Rome  in  the  year  70  and  the 
dispersal  of  the  Jews  were  punishment  for  rejection  of  the 
divinity  of  Jesus;  that  Christianity  was  the  fulfillment  of 
Judaism;  that  the  Church  is  the  one  true  chosen  people  of 
God;  that  the  Church  was  the  new  Israel;  that  Christianity 
was  heir  to  the  Covenant  between  God  and  Abraham;  and 
that  Jews  were  identified  with  the  devil  and  their  syna- 
gogues were  the  abodes  of  satan. 

Clark  M.  Williamson,  Professor  at  the  Christian  The- 
ological Seminary,  wrote:  "A  torrent  of  anti-Judaism  flows 
through  the  channels  of  Christianity."37 

Words  and  concepts  have  serious  consequences;  in  Eu- 
rope, especially  in  medieval  days,  they  resulted  in  forced 
conversions  of  Jews,  denigrations,  persecutions,  book  burn- 
ings, defamations,  restrictions,  the  Inquisition  and  murder. 

In  the  Middle  Ages,  the  Dominicans  and  the  Franciscans 
were  in  the  vanguard  in  anti-Jewish  and  anti-Judaism  ac- 

. . .  Dominican  and  Franciscan  friars  directed  and  over- 
saw virtually  all  of  the  anti- Jewish  activities  of  the  Chris- 

•  21  . 

•   ZEBULON    B.   VANCE  • 

tian  clergy  in  the  West.  As  inquisitors,  missionaries,  dis- 
putants, polemicists,  scholars,  and  itinerant  preachers, 
mendicants  engaged  in  concerted  efforts  to  undermine  the 
religious  freedom  and  physical  security  of  the  medieval 
Jewish  community  .  .  .  and  who  actively  promoted  hatred 
among  the  laity  of  Western  Christendom.38 

Many  Jews  fled,  scattered  by  impoverishment  and  op- 
pression to  places  with  a  measure  of  opportunity  and  free- 
dom. A  greater  number  were  expelled  as  church  and  states 
sought  to  homogenize  their  populations— uniformity  of  re- 
ligious thought.  For  examples :  England  expelled  the  Jews 
in  1290  and  they  were  not  permitted  to  return  until  1650 
—during  the  days  of  Oliver  Cromwell.  In  an  enormous  ex- 
pulsion, Spain  drove  the  Jews  out  in  1492;  and  most  of 
the  countries  of  Central  and  Western  Europe  did  the  same. 
It  was  "an  ethnic  and  religious  cleansing." 

Beginning  in  1880,  during  Vance's  time,  there  were 
pogroms  in  Russia  (officially  encouraged  massacres  and 
persecutions).  Vance  refers  to  this  in  a  later  version  of 
"The  Scattered  Nation."  The  oppression  grew  intense  in 
Eastern  Europe,  causing  substantial  migration— "scatter- 
ing"—to  the  United  States,  Canada,  Argentina,  South  Af- 
rica, Australia  and  other  places  in  the  world. 

This  sordid  history  has  been  depicted  by  scholars,  both 
Christian  and  Jewish,  in  many  volumes— here  we  present 
a  summary.39  Also,  many  scholars  have  referred  to  the 
events  of  this  history  as  precursors  of  the  Holocaust.  James 
Parkes,  the  British  clergyman  and  historian  has  written: 
"This  hatred  and  denigration  have  a  quite  clear  and  precise 
historical  origin.  They  arise  from  Christian  preaching  and 
teaching  from  the  time  of  the  bitter  controversies  of  the 
first  century  in  which  the  two  religions  separated  from  each 
other.  From  that  time  up  to  today  there  has  been  an  un- 
broken line  which  culminates  in  the  massacre  in  our  own 
day  of  six  million  Jews."40 

Preceding  and  after  the  Holocaust,  Jews  were  further 

•  22  • 


"scattered."  Before  the  Holocaust,  many  escaped  the  Nazi 
regime  by  going  to  what  later  became  the  State  of  Israel, 
and  some  escaped  during  the  Holocaust.  Many  were  unable 
to  reach  Israel  because  the  British  imposed  a  blockade  of 
Israel  to  please  the  Arabs;  some  ended  up  in  distant  places, 
as  far  away  as  Shanghai. 

There  was  another  substantial  "scattering"  when  about 
seven  hundred  thousand  Jews  fled  or  were  expelled  from 
the  Arab  countries  after  the  State  of  Israel  defeated  the 
Arabs  who  committed  aggression  against  Israel  in  1948, 
1967  and  1973.  Islam  taught  that  Jews  and  Christians 
were  to  be  humiliated  and  made  subservient;  they  were 
called  dhimmis.  Therefore,  the  loss  of  the  Arab-Israel  wars 
at  the  hands  of  those  to  be  humiliated  caused  shock  and 
trauma  in  the  Arab  world;  the  status  of  Jews  became  ex- 
tremely precarious. 

In  1965,  the  Vatican  Council  II  declared  in  Nostra 
Aetate  (In  Our  Time)  that  the  Church  "deplores  hatred, 
persecutions,  and  displays  of  anti-Semitism  directed  against 
Jews  at  any  time  from  any  source."  And  further:  "Jews 
should  not  be  presented  as  rejected  or  accursed  by  God  " 

Many  Protestant  denominations  have  issued  similar  lau- 
datory statements. 

During  recent  years,  about  five  hundred  thousand  Jews 
have  migrated  from  the  States  of  the  former  Soviet  Union 
to  the  State  of  Israel.  This  emigration  has  been  caused  by 
continued  hostility  toward  Jews,  enhanced  by  economic 
adversity  and  political  turmoil.  So,  the  migrations  have 
continued  for  over  a  century  after  Vance's  "The  Scattered 

Jewish  Tributes 

Vance's  "The  Scattered  Nation"  and  his  delivery  of  the 
speech  in  many  cities  was  unique.  This  made  a  profound 
impression  on  the  Jewish  community  of  North  Carolina 

•  23  • 

•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

and  elsewhere.  They  expressed  their  admiration  for  his 
kind  words  in  many  ways. 

Selig  Adler  in  his  article,  published  in  1941,  relates: 
"Each  May  13,  Vance's  birthday,  the  Asheville  representa- 
tives of  the  United  Daughters  of  the  Confederacy  and  B'nai 
B'rith  sponsor  a  program  around  the  Vance  monument." 
That  statement  was  made  by  Adler  over  fifty  years  ago. 
Inquiry  was  recently  made  by  this  writer,  and  it  was  de- 
termined that  the  ceremony  has  continued  to  the  present 
day,  except  that  during  the  past  few  years  it  has  been  held 
at  Vance's  birthplace  at  Reems  Creek  Valley. 

Adler  also  talks  of  the  visit  of  Nathan  Straus  of  New 
York,  who  visited  Asheville  and  placed  a  wreath  at  the 
Vance  obelisk.  Straus  was  a  merchandising  magnate  (R.H. 
Macy  &  Company)  and  prolific  philanthropist.  He  provided 
funds  for  erection  of  a  wrought  iron  fence  around  the  base 
of  the  monument,  and  established  an  endowment  for  a 
wreath  to  be  placed  at  the  Vance  monument  every  year. 

In  1926  the  Central  Conference  of  American  Rabbis  held 
a  convention  in  Asheville.  They  assembled  at  Riverside 
Cemetery  and  placed  a  wreath  on  Vance's  grave.41 

Glenn  Tucker  wrote:  "When  he  delivered  in  Chapel 
Hill ...  his  most  famous  lecture,  'The  Scattered  Nation,'  a 
number  of  North  Carolina  Jews  presented  him  with  a  gold- 
headed  cane."42 

The  State  of  North  Carolina  built  and  maintains  a  mu- 
seum adjacent  to  the  log  cabin  in  which  Vance  was  born 
at  Reems  Creek  Valley.  In  it  are  memorabilia  of  Vance's 
life  such  as  his  pistol  and  sword.  Among  the  items  is  a 
silver-headed  cane  inscribed:  "Presented  to  Zebulon  B. 
Vance  by  the  Jewish  youth  of  Wilmington." 

The  Calvary  Episcopal  Church  established  in  1859,  at 
Fletcher,  North  Carolina,43  has  sponsored  the  erection  of 
monuments  on  the  church  grounds  in  honor  and  memory 
of  outstanding  southern  personalities.  Among  them  are 



Francis  Scott  Key,  James  Whitcomb  Riley,  and  Stephen 
C.  Foster.  On  October  14,  1928,  a  monument  was  ded- 
icated to  the  memory  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance  under  the  pa- 
tronage of  B'nai  B'rith  of  Asheville.  Nathan  Straus  sent  a 
message:  "As  a  Southerner  and  in  common  with  all  Ameri- 
can Jews  I  join  in  the  tribute  of  gratitude  and  affection  to 
the  memory  of  North  Carolina's  great  Senator  and  war 
governor.  .  .  .  'The  Scattered  Nation'  will  never  be  for- 

The  principal  speaker  was  Rabbi  Stephen  S.  Wise  of 
New  York,  the  preeminent  rabbi  in  America  at  the  time. 
Wise  said:  "Mine  is  a  people  which  enshrines  memories 
older  than  those  of  any  other  people  . . .  Senator  Vance,  not 
by  any  act  of  ours  but  by  his  own  imperishable  word  has 
enshrined  his  name  on  the  roll  of  the  unforgettable.  ...  It 
must  be  that  the  passion  of  human  brotherhood  inspired 
the  words  of  Vance."44 

Governor  Again 

While  Vance  was  practicing  law  in  Charlotte,  the  conven- 
tion of  the  Democratic  Party,  on  June  14,  1876,  nominated 
him  to  be  Governor  of  North  Carolina  for  the  third  time.  In 
the  interim,  the  Conservative  Party  had  changed  its  name 
to  the  Democratic  Party. 

Upon  his  return  from  the  convention  in  Raleigh  a  cele- 
bration was  held  in  Charlotte : 

Handbills  announcing  a  meeting  to  be  held  in  Inde- 
pendence Square  were  printed  and  distributed  throughout 
the  city.  Long  before  the  arrival  of  the  9:20  p.m.  train, 
which  was  bringing  Vance  from  Raleigh,  tar  barrels  were 
set  on  fire  and  throngs  of  people  gathered  in  the  streets 
waiting  to  hear  what  their  distinguished  townsman  had 
to  say  about  his  nomination.  A  large  delegation  was  wait- 
ing at  the  depot  when  the  train  pulled  in,  and  the  popular 
candidate  was  hurried  into  a  waiting  carriage,  which  was 

.25  • 

•  ZEBULON   B.   VANCE  • 

pulled  by  four  grey  horses  to  the  Square.  As  the  carriage 
came  in  sight  a  band  began  playing,  and  shouts  of  "hur- 
rah for  Vance"  echoed  through  the  air. 

Amid  thunderous  applause,  Vance  mounted  the  plat- 
form which  was  illuminated  by  blazing  tar  barrels.  He 
was  introduced  to  the  crowd  as  "North  Carolina's  favorite 
son,"  the  tribune  of  the  people,  Zebulon  B.  Vance.45 

Vance's  opponent,  representing  the  Republican  Party, 
was  Thomas  Settle,  a  former  member  of  the  North  Caro- 
lina Supreme  Court  and  a  formidable  candidate.  The  elec- 
tion was  referred  to  as  "the  battle  of  the  giants."46  It  was 
an  extensive,  hard-fought  campaign. 

Vance  "spoke  in  Burgaw  in  the  afternoon  for  two  and  a 
half  hours,  and  then  taking  an  extra  train  for  Wilmington 
. . .  he  again  spoke  for  two  and  a  half  hours."47  In  the  three 
months  of  the  campaign,  he  delivered  sixty-nine  speeches  in 
sixty-five  counties.48  Many  of  the  addresses  by  Vance  were 
in  debates  with  Settle. 

As  usual  Vance's  lectures  were  replete  with  humor;  for 
example,  when  jesting  about  revenue  officers  he  said  they 
"could  lie  down  and  drink  out  of  a  branch  and  tell  if  there 
was  a  still  five  miles  up  it,  and  could  look  at  a  man's  track 
and  tell  whether  he  was  toting  a  quart  of  whiskey  or  a  two 
gallon  jug."49 

Vance  won  the  election  by  a  vote  of  118,000  to  Settle's 
104,000.  He  delivered  his  third  inaugural  address  as  Gov- 
ernor of  North  Carolina  on  January  1,  1877— it  implicitly 
marked  the  end  of  the  era  of  Reconstruction. 

During  the  campaign,  Vance  advocated  the  supremacy 
of  the  white  race,  and  that  "this  supremacy  would  never 
pass  to  alien  blood  with  his  consent;"50  that  position  was  the 
prevalent  view  in  the  populace.  Vance's  point  of  view,  in 
that  respect,  was  ameliorated  by  his  deep  concern  for  im- 
provement of  education— universal  education. 

Soon  after  the  inauguration,  he  delivered  a  message  to 
the  General  Assembly  calling  for  equal  education  for  both 



races— then,  equal  meant  separate.  Vance  urged  the  legisla- 
ture to  establish  two  normal  schools,  one  for  African- 
American  teachers,  and  one  for  the  white  race,  to  improve 
abilities  of  the  teachers.  He  said,  "It  is  impossible  for  the 
blind  to  lead  the  blind."  And  further  that  a  school  for  the 
"education  of  colored  teachers,  the  want  of  which  is  more 
deeply  felt  by  the  black  race  even  than  the  white."  The 
General  Assembly  complied,  and  the  Fayetteville  Colored 
Normal  School  and  the  white  school  at  Chapel  Hill  were 

In  1878,  in  an  address  to  an  African- American  audience, 
he  said  that  although  he  had  opposed  emancipation,  he 
would  "respect  all  the  rights  the  laws  had  invested  in  them." 
This,  he  said,  "I  cheerfully  do,  always  have  done,  and  al- 
ways shall  do."51 

In  1886,  while  a  United  States  Senator,  in  a  speech  in 
Boston,  Vance  remarked:  ".  .  .  slavery  has  been  forever 
abolished,  no  longer  to  tarnish  the  fair  fame  of  this  great 
free  Republic."52 

Vance  was  a  keen  advocate  of  vocational  education- 
training  for  industry  and  agriculture.  He  referred  to  a  lib- 
eral arts  education  as  "ornamental  education."  His  theme, 
in  speeches,  was  "providing  an  ornamental  education  to  the 
exclusion  of  a  practical  one  might  prove  disastrous  to  the 

From  time  to  time,  during  this  term  as  Governor,  Vance 
continued  to  deliver  "The  Scattered  Nation." 

At  the  end  of  1878,  the  General  Assembly  elected  Vance 
to  the  United  States  Senate  by  acclamation  to  succeed  Sen- 
ator A.  S.  Merriman  whose  term  had  expired.54  On  March 
4,  1879,  he  reported  to  Washington  and  became  a  United 
States  Senator. 

United  States  Senator 

In  the  Senate,  Vance  was  a  diligent  student  of  the  issues 
of  the  times;  his  speeches  were  well-prepared  and  erudite. 



As  in  the  past,  his  concepts  were  illustrated  with  jokes  and 
anecdotes,  accompanied  by  wisdom. 

Reminiscent  of  the  days  in  Charlotte  when  crowds  came 
to  hear  him  in  court,  in  the  Senate,  when  it  was  known  in 
advance  that  he  would  speak,  the  galleries  were  full. 

The  Philadelphia  Times  reported:  .  .  the  fascination 
of  his  fun  is  in  its  spontaneity,  its  originality  and  the  in- 
exhaustible fecundity  of  the  imagination  which  generates 
it.  His  mind  is  a  vast  reservoir  of  humor. .  .  ,"55 

He  was  swift  with  repartee.  Listen  to  this:  "I  heard  your 
speech,"  a  colleague  remarked  tauntingly  one  day,  "but  it 
went  in  one  ear  and  out  the  other." 

"Nothing  to  stop  it,"  was  Vance's  quick  reply.56 

Vance  was  heard  to  remark:  "Mirth  does  for  the  soul 
what  sleep  does  for  the  body."57 

During  recesses,  he  accepted  invitations  to  address  au- 
diences all  over  the  nation:  college  commencements,  boards 
of  trade,  historical  societies,  and  veterans  organizations. 
He  also  continued  to  deliver  "The  Scattered  Nation." 

In  1882,  Vance  returned  to  Charlotte  to  introduce  Sen- 
ator Thomas  F.  Bayard  of  Delaware,  a  leader  in  the  Senate, 
as  the  principal  speaker  on  the  anniversary  of  the  Meck- 
lenburg Declaration  of  Independence.  Vance,  in  part,  said, 
"We  have  met  to  worship  once  again  at  the  shrine  of  Ameri- 
can liberty,  upon  the  spot  where  it  was  born."58 

In  1892,  Vance  returned  again  to  Charlotte  to  deliver  an 
address.  The  Charlotte  Observer  reported:  ".  .  .  and  such 
an  expression  of  love,  affection  and  esteem  was  never  shown 
to  any  son  of  North  Carolina  at  any  time,  or  anywhere,  as 
was  expressed  in  the  great  ovation  over  Vance."  Vance 
commented,  in  part:  "It  makes  me  glad  at  heart  to  see  such 
an  audience  in  Mecklenburg,  and  to  make  you  a  speech  is 
as  tempting  to  me  as  a  good  dinner  would  be  to  a  real  hun- 
gry man."59 

In  a  speech  in  1880  in  opposition  to  the  Republican's 
proposed  budget,  he  said:  "If  I  thought  the  Republican 

.28  • 


Party  were  standing  upon  the  brink  of  a  precipice,  beneath 
which  seethed  those  cold  waters  of  oblivion,  instead  of 
warning  them,  I  pledge  you  my  word  I  would  try  to  induce 
them  to  step  over  the  edge;  in  fact,  I  might  lend  them  a 
push."  [laughter]60 

Among  Vance's  chief  concerns  were  tariff,  silver  and  the 
civil  service.  He  favored  elimination  of  tariff  on  commod- 
ities purchased  by  all  the  people.61  President  Grover  Cleve- 
land, in  1885,  advocated  the  cessation  of  silver  coinage. 
Vance  vehemently  favored  bimetallism,  continuation  of  sil- 
ver coinage.  On  the  civil  service  issue,  Vance  advocated 
repeal  of  the  Civil  Service  Act  so  that  when  a  President  is 
elected  with  a  change  in  party  there  be  no  limitation  on 
patronage.  Vance  remarked:  "I  believe  most  earnestly  that 
parties  are  indispensable  to  the  existence  of  liberty,  and 
that  government  by  the  party  is  the  only  way  in  which  there 
can  be  government  by  the  people."62 

Inspired  by  his  love  for  the  mountains  of  North  Carolina 
where  he  was  born  and  reared,  he  bought  and  improved  a 
Victorian  mansion  near  Black  Mountain,  about  22  miles 
from  Asheville.  He  called  it  Gombroon.  It  was  here  that 
he  relaxed  when  the  Senate  was  not  in  session  and  when  he 
was  not  delivering  speeches. 

He  was  reelected  to  the  United  States  Senate  in  1885, 
and  again  in  1891. 

During  his  terms  in  the  Senate  the  Presidents  were 
Rutherford  B.  Hayes,  James  A.  Garfield,  Chester  A.  Ar- 
thur, Grover  Cleveland,  and  Benjamin  Harrison. 

While  in  the  Senate,  Vance  was  a  magnificent  represen- 
tative of  North  Carolina,  was  looked  upon  as  the  spokesman 
of  the  South  and  was  deeply  concerned  about  the  welfare 
of  the  nation. 

Outpouring  of  Grief 

Vance  passed  away  on  April  14,  1894,  in  his  third  term 
in  the  United  States  Senate.  There  was  an  enormous  out- 



pouring  of  grief.  A  memorial  ceremony  held  in  Congress 
was  attended  by  President  Grover  Cleveland,  Vice  Pres- 
ident Adlai  Stevenson  (grandfather  of  Adlai  Stevenson, 
who  ran  for  President  in  1952  and  1956 ),  the  Cabinet,  the 
Supreme  Court,  diplomats  and  members  of  the  Senate  and 

The  funeral  train,  with  delegations  from  the  Senate  and 
House  of  Representatives  abroad,  traveled  to  Raleigh  where 
a  procession  escorted  the  casket  to  the  Capitol.  The  hearse 
was  pulled  by  four  black  horses.  It  was  most  appropriate  to 
visit  the  Capitol  where  Vance  had  served  the  people  of 
North  Carolina  for  three  terms  as  Governor.  Then,  en  route 
to  Asheville,  the  funeral  train  stopped  at  Durham  and 
Greensboro  where  throngs  awaited,  bands  played  sacred 
music,  choirs  sang  hymns,  flags  were  flown  at  half  mast, 
buildings  were  draped  in  black  and  church  bells  tolled.  "At 
Asheville,  a  procession  of  ten  thousand  people,  both  mil- 
itary and  civilian,  escorted  the  casket  to  Riverside  Cemetery 
for  the  final  rites  and  interment."63 

Across  North  Carolina,  in  cities  and  towns,  memorial 
services  were  held.  In  Charlotte,  a  memorial  ceremony  was 
held  on  the  day  before  the  funeral  and  another  a  day  after; 
prominent  Charlotte  citizens  delivered  eulogies.  Reports 
of  each  of  the  memorial  ceremonies  in  Charlotte  are  in 
Appendices  A  and  B.64 

However,  the  accolades  did  not  cease  with  the  funer- 
al; the  plaudits  and  commemorations  continued  for  many 

On  January  19,  1895,  an  additional  memorial  ceremony 
was  held  in  the  United  States  Senate.  Nine  Senators  de- 
livered eulogies;  the  principal  one  was  delivered  by  Senator 
Matt  W.  Ransom,  Vance's  colleague  from  North  Carolina. 
It  was  a  magnificent  address.  Excerpts  from  the  Ransom 
eulogy  are  in  Appendix  C.65 

On  August  22,  1900,  a  bronze  statue  of  Vance  was 



erected  on  the  grounds  of  the  Capitol  at  Raleigh.  He  stands 
robust,  and,  appropriately,  with  a  hand  on  a  book;  and  on 
each  side  are  quotations  from  his  speeches  engraved  in 
bronze.  Excerpts  from  dedicatory  address  by  Kemp  H. 
Battle  are  in  Appendix  D.66 

In  1916,  a  bronze  statue  of  Vance  was  unveiled  in  Stat- 
uary Hall  of  the  Capitol  in  Washington;  the  sculptor  was 
the  famous  Gutzan  Borglum.  In  1864  Congress  enacted  a 
law  inviting  each  State  to  furnish  statues,  not  exceeding 
two  of  its  citizens  "illustrious  for  their  historic  renown." 
The  North  Carolina  Legislature  unanimously  authorized 
a  statue  of  Vance  to  be  placed  in  Statuary  Hall.  In  the  cere- 
monies, addresses  were  delivered  in  Statuary  Hall  and  also 
in  the  Senate  and  House  of  Representatives.  Among  the 
stirring  addresses  was  one  by  Locke  Craig,  Governor  of 
North  Carolina.  Excerpts  from  his  speech  are  in  Appen- 
dix E.67 

In  1898  a  tall  obelisk,  in  memory  of  Vance,  was  dedicated 
on  Pack  Square  in  Asheville.  Excerpts  from  the  address  by 
R.  L.  Taylor,  Governor  of  Tennessee,  are  in  Appendix  F.68 

The  appendices  are  important :  They  present  excerpts  of 
speeches  by  Vance's  distinguished  colleagues  and  are  re- 
plete with  historical  events  in  the  life  of  Vance. 

The  General  Assembly  selected  another  of  its  illustrious 
citizens  to  be  honored  with  a  statue  in  Statuary  Hall: 
Charles  B.  Aycock,  Governor  from  1901  to  1905,  who  was 
also  famous  for  encouraging  education. 

Throughout  North  Carolina,  towns  and  cities  named 
streets  and  schools  in  memory  of  Vance.  Vance  County  was 
named  in  honor  of  him  during  his  lifetime.  At  the  turn  of 
the  century,  "more  sons,  dogs,  horses  and  mules  were 
named  Zeb  than  any  other  name,  largely  in  affectionate 
tribute  to  Zebulon  Baird  Vance,  the  most  beloved  man  ever 
elected  to  public  office  in  the  State."69 

The  people  of  North  Carolina  mourned  and  wept  for 

•  31  • 

•  ZEBU  LON   B.  VANCE  • 

their  renowned  statesman  who  had  been  their  magnificent 
leader,  in  war  and  peace,  for  one  third  of  a  century.  Above 
all,  the  people  knew  that  Zebulon  B.  Vance  was  a  compas- 
sionate statesman  who  always  spoke  the  truth. 



1.  From  speech  by  Locke  Craig,  Governor  of  North  Carolina  at  the 
dedication  of  statue  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance  in  Statuary  Hall,  U.S.  Capitol, 

2.  Schenck  diary,  November  2,  1874,  University  of  North  Carolina. 

3.  Ashe,  Samuel,  editor,  History  of  North  Carolina  II  (Greensboro, 
1907), p.  880. 

4.  Warren,  Edward,  A  Doctor's  Experiences  in  Three  Continents, 
(Baltimore,  1885),  p.  314. 

5.  Shirley,  Franklin  Ray,  Zebulon  Vance,  Tarheel  Spokesman  (Char- 
lotte, 1962),  p.  139. 

6.  Ibid.,  p.  3. 

7.  Tucker,  Glenn,  Zeb  Vance,  Champion  of  Personal  Freedom  (In- 
dianapolis, 1965),  p.  21. 

8.  Address  by  Z.  B.  Vance  to  graduating  class  of  Wake  Forest  Col- 
lege (Raleigh,  1872),  p.  15. 


9.  Johnston,  Frontis  W.,  Zebulon  B.  Vance  Letters  (State  Depart- 
ment of  Archives  and  History,  Raleigh,  1963),  p.  xx. 

Political  Career  Launched 

10.  Address  of  Richard  H.  Battle  in  Literary  and  Historical  Activ- 
ities in  North  Carolina  (Raleigh,  1907),  p.  381. 

11.  Ibid.,?.  383. 

12.  Ibid.,?.  383. 

13.  Johnston,  p.  xxxvi. 

14.  Dowd,  Clement,  Life  of  Zebulon  Vance  (Charlotte,  1897) ,  p.  44. 

15.  Tucker,  p.  88. 

16.  Shirley,  p.  22. 

17.  Tucker,  p.  105. 

18.  Barrett,  John  G.,  The  Civil  War  in  North  Carolina  (Chapel 
Hill,  1963),  p.  12. 

19.  Ibid.,  p.  12. 

20.  Johnston,  p.  xi. 

The  War  Governor 

21.  Tucker,  p.  149. 

22.  Raleigh  Register,  September  10,  1862. 



23.  Tucker,  p.  179. 

24.  Letter  of  protest  to  Jefferson  Davis,  July  6,  1863.  Vance  Letter 
Book  Vol.  I,  p.  317. 

25.  Vance  address  to  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic,  Boston,  Decem- 
ber 8,  1876.Dowd,p.453. 

26.  Sandburg,  Carl,  Abraham  Lincoln:  The  War  Years,  Vol.  II 
(New  York,  1939),  p.  392. 

27.  Ibid.,  Vol.  II,  p.  393. 

28.  Ibid.,  Vol.  Ill,  p.  156. 

29.  Letter  -  Vance  to  David  Swain,  Raleigh,  January  2,  1864,  Vance 

30.  Johnston,  p.  Ixvii. 

31.  Spencer,  Cornelia  P.,  The  Last  Ninety  Days  of  the  War  in  North 
Carolina  (New  York,  1866),  p.  138. 

32.  Johnston,  p.  lxxiii. 

"The  Scattered  Nation" 

33.  "The  Scattered  Nation"  —  Chapter  Three,  p.  61. 

34.  Shirley,  p.  122. 

35.  The  Southern  Journal  of  History,  Vol.  VIII,  No.  3.  August,  1941. 
Chapter  Two  in  this  volume,  p.  35. 

36.  Vance,  Chapter  Three,  p.  61. 

37.  Williamson,  Clark  M.,  Has  God  Rejected  His  People?  Anti-Juda- 
ism in  the  Christian  Church  (Nashville,  1982),  p.  100. 

38.  Cohen,  Jeremy,  The  Friars  and  the  Jews  (Ithaca,  1982),  p.  13. 

39.  See:  Berger,  David,  ed.,  History  and  Hate  (Philadelphia,  1986) . 
Williamson,  Clark,  Has  God  Rejected  His  People?  (Nashville, 

Littell,  Franklin  H.,  The  Crucifixion  of  the  Jews  (New  York, 

Eckardt,  A.  Roy,  Elder  and  Younger  Brothers  (New  York,  1973). 
Boksor,  Ben  Zion,  Judaism  and  the  Christian  Predicament  (New 
York,  1967). 

Isaac,  Jules,  The  Teaching  of  Contempt  (New  York,  1964). 

40.  Parkes,  James,  The  Conflict  of  Church  and  Synagogue  (Cleve- 
land, 1961). 

Jewish  Tributes 

41.  Central  Conference  of  American  Rabbis  Year  Book,  Vol.  36 
(1926),  p.  17. 

42.  Tucker,  p.  454. 

43.  In  his  article,  Chapter  Two,  Selig  Adler  wrote  that  this  event 
took  place  in  Asheville:  That  was  an  error.  The  event  took  place  in 
Fletcher,  North  Carolina. 

44.  The  Asheville  Times,  October  15,  1928,  p.  12. 

Governor  Again 

45.  Shirley,  p.  72.  Quoted  from  The  Charlotte  Democrat  of  June  19, 

46.  Dowd,  p.  146. 

47.  Vance  Papers,  Raleigh.  Clipping  Book,  p.  2351. 

.33  • 


48.  Dowd,p.  161. 

49.  Ibid.,  p.  150. 

50.  Raleigh  Sentinel,  July  15,  1876. 

51.  Shirley,  p.  88. 

52.  Dowd,  p.  453. 

53.  Shirley,  pp.  90-91. 

54.  Amendment  XVII  to  the  United  States  Constitution,  adopted 
May  31,  1913,  provided  for  direct  popular  election  of  United  States 

United  States  Senator 

55.  Raleigh  Observer,  April  9,  1879. 

56.  Tucker,  p.  466. 

57.  Ibid.,-p.465. 

58.  Tucker,  pp.  466-467. 

59.  Dowd,  pp.  256-257. 

60.  Dowd,  p.  238. 

61.  Until  1913,  tariffs  were  the  principal  sources  of  revenue.  The 
XVI  Amendment  to  the  Constitution  authorized  income  taxes. 

62.  Cong.  Record,  49th  Congress,  1st  Session,  p.  2945. 

Outpouring  of  Grief 

63.  Dowd,  p.  316. 

64.  See  appendix  for  reports  of  the  two  memorial  ceremonies  in  Char- 
lotte, pp.  97  and  100. 

65.  See  appendix  for  excerpts  from  eulogy  by  Senator  Matt  W.  Ran- 
som, p.  105. 

66.  See  appendix  for  excerpts  from  dedicatory  address  by  Richard  H. 
Battle,  p.  114. 

67.  See  appendix  for  excerpts  from  address  by  Governor  Locke  Craig, 
p.  123. 

68.  See  appendix  for  excerpts  from  address  by  R.  L.  Taylor,  Gov- 
ernor of  Tennessee,  p.  130. 

69.  Claiborne,  Jack,  and  William  Price,  editors,  Discovering  North 
Carolina,  Essay  by  Richard  Walser  (Chapel  Hill,  1991),  p.  132. 


Zebulon  Vance 

"The  Scattered  Nation" 


Zebulon  Vance 

"The  Scattered  Nation" 

19  4  1 

The  American  Civil  War 
raised  many  men  from  obscurity  to  state  and  national  prom- 
inence. Almost  every  state,  North  and  South,  had  its  lat- 
ter nineteenth-century  hero.  With  the  exception  of  those 
whose  roles  were  so  important  as  to  incorporate  their  deeds 
into  the  everyday  knowledge  of  the  average  citizen,  they 
have  been  forgotten.  There  is,  however,  one  of  this  group 
whose  memory  still  lives  within  his  own  state,  whose  stories 
are  still  told,  whose  name  is  still  meaningful.  That  person 
is  Zebulon  Baird  Vance,  who  followed  the  cursus  honorum 
in  North  Carolina  from  county  attorney  to  the  General  As- 
sembly to  two  terms  in  the  lower  house  of  Congress,  from 
a  colonel  in  the  Confederate  army  to  a  great  southern  war 
governor.  Eleven  years  after  Appomattox  he  returned  to  the 
governor's  chair  at  Raleigh,  according  to  a  southern  ver- 
dict, to  deliver  "his  people  of  the  Old  North  State  from  the 
bonds  of  oppression  and  from  the  Egypt  of  reconstruction."1 
From  the  governorship  Vance  went  to  the  Senate  where  he 
died  in  his  third  elective  term. 


•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

Although  Vance  has  been  dead  forty-seven  years,  his 
memory  is  still  alive.  His  monument  on  Capitol  Square, 
Raleigh,  is  the  only  statue  ever  erected  by  public  funds  in 
the  history  of  the  state.2  In  1916  his  name  was  chosen  to 
represent  North  Carolina  in  the  National  Hall  of  Statuary 
in  Washington.  The  newspapers  still  mention  him;  his 
jokes  are  a  part  of  the  folklore  of  the  state;  intimate  knowl- 
edge of  his  doings  still  persists.  The  salient  facts  of  Vance's 
career  and  character  explain  this  unusual  devotion  and 
tribute.  Born  in  the  mountain  country  near  Asheville  in 
1830,  by  his  thirtieth  birthday  Vance  was  a  state-wide  fig- 
ure serving  his  second  term  in  Congress.  He  was  an  ardent 
Unionist  at  first,  but  the  firing  on  Fort  Sumter  led  him  into 
the  secessionist  camp.  In  1862,  while  gaining  a  reputation 
for  gallantry  on  the  field  of  battle  and  maintaining  unusual 
morale  with  his  anecdotes  and  jokes,  he  was  elected  gov- 
ernor of  the  state.  As  war  governor,  Vance  endeared  him- 
self forever  to  his  people.  He  mitigated  the  horrors  of  war 
by  insisting  on  the  precedence  of  civil  law,  and  stoutly 
protected  the  state  from  the  uncomfortable  militarism  of 
the  Confederate  government.  Despite  his  differences  with 
President  Jefferson  Davis,  Vance  fought  the  fight  to  the 
end,  leaving  Raleigh  on  the  advance  of  William  T.  Sher- 
man's army  in  April,  1865.  After  an  unsatisfactory  con- 
ference with  Davis  at  Charlotte,  he  surrendered  himself  to 
the  Federal  forces.  General  John  M.  Schofield  told  him  to 
proceed  to  his  home  at  Statesville  and  there  to  await  further 
orders.  While  in  Statesville  he  made  his  first  intimate  ac- 
quaintance with  the  members  of  a  people  who  treasure  his 
memory  equally  with  his  own  kith  and  kin.  To  North  Caro- 
linians he  is  the  incomparable  Vance  of  war  and  Senate 
fame  and  many  jests;  to  the  Jewish  people  he  is  the  author 
of  the  "Scattered  Nation,"  the  one  American  statesman  of 
his  day  who  pleaded  their  cause  to  the  people  of  the  United 

Vance  arrived  in  Statesville  early  in  May,  1865.  There 

•  38  - 


and  later  in  Charlotte  he  came  into  close  contact  with  a 
number  of  Jewish  merchants  whose  friendship  served  to 
inspire  the  "Scattered  Nation."3  The  leading  mercantile 
establishment  of  the  town  was  Wallace  Brothers  and  Ste- 
phenson. Isaac  and  David  Wallace  were  typical  German- 
Jewish  immigrants  of  the  mid-century.  In  1859,  after  ped- 
dling and  keeping  store  in  the  vicinity  of  Bamberg,  South 
Carolina,  they  moved  to  Statesville.  From  the  first  they  took 
a  leading  part  in  the  affairs  of  this  farming  metropolis  of 
six  hundred  souls.  Their  general  store  was  the  hub  center 
of  county  and  trading  gossip.  They  sold  supplies  to  the 
farmers,  ran  a  small  banking  business  as  an  accommoda- 
tion, and  even  included  a  drug  counter.  From  the  handling 
of  standard  home  remedies  they  came  upon  an  idea  which 
has  benefited  that  section  of  the  state  for  seventy-five  years. 
The  farmers  of  Wilkes,  Ashe,  and  Watauga  counties  had 
thus  far  not  capitalized  upon  the  variety  of  herbs  found 
in  their  farmyards.  The  Wallaces  taught  them  to  bring 
goldenseal  root,  ginseng,  black  haw,  and  eventually  some 
six  hundred  other  varieties  of  roots  and  herbs  into  States- 
ville in  return  for  merchandise.4  This  was  the  beginning  of 
a  crude  drug  business  which  still  continues  to  be  a  source  of 
prosperity  to  the  local  countryside. 

The  visits  of  Vance  to  the  country  store  are  recalled  to 
this  day.  There  was  much  about  Isaac  and  David  Wallace 
to  impress  the  war  Governor.  They  were,  in  the  language 
of  the  present  oldest  inhabitant  of  Statesville,  the  "substan- 
tial people  of  the  town,"  men  of  integrity  and  foresight. 
They  were  liberal  in  their  terms  to  struggling  small  land- 
owners and  generous  donors  to  worthwhile  causes.5  Realiz- 
ing that  they  were  an  isolated  minority,  they  were  ultracon- 
siderate  of  the  feelings  of  their  Gentile  neighbors.  Their 
integrity  of  character  was  well  appreciated.  The  minister 
of  the  First  Presbyterian  Church,  which  the  Vances  at- 
tended, was  the  Wallaces'  friend.  With  their  neighbors, 
the  family  had  struggled  through  the  long  war  years.  A 

•  39. 

•   ZEBU  LON    B.   VANCE  • 

detachment  of  Union  men  foraged  the  Wallace  home  dur- 
ing Passover,  1865.  Failing  to  find  bread,  they  sampled  the 
unleavened  cakes  of  the  season  to  whirl  them  through  the 
air  with  the  disgruntled  comment  of  "more  hard  tack."6 
This  incident  occurred  shortly  before  Vance  returned  to 
Statesville  under  General  Schofield's  orders. 

The  Governor  was  allowed  but  short  respite  with  his 
family.  On  May  13,  1865,  which  chanced  to  be  his  thirty- 
fifth  birthday,  a  squadron  of  General  Hugh  J.  Kilpatrick's 
cavalry  surrounded  his  home,  arrested  him,  and  prepared 
to  take  him  to  Washington.  As  the  railroad  and  telegraph 
lines  had  been  destroyed,  Statesville  was  completely  cut  off 
from  the  outside  world.  The  Union  officer  in  charge  wanted 
the  Governor  to  ride  horseback  thirty-five  miles  to  the  rail- 
road at  Salisbury.  There  being  some  question  as  to  the  cor- 
pulent Zeb's  equestrian  abilities,  a  Jewish  resident  agreed 
to  drive  him  by  buggy  to  Salisbury.  This  man  was  destined 
to  become  one  of  the  most  enterprising  and  successful  men 
in  the  state  and  was  probably  the  most  intimate  of  Vance's 
Jewish  friends.  He  was  Samuel  Wittkowsky  who  had  been 
born  in  1835  in  Prussian  Poland.  Arriving  in  New  York 
at  the  age  of  eighteen  with  but  $3.00  in  gold,  he  had  worked 
his  way  upward  in  various  places  in  the  South,  and  during 
the  war  had  been  engaged  in  the  manufacture  of  hats  in 
Statesville  in  the  firm  of  Wittkowsky  and  Saltzgiver.  He 
had  probably  long  admired  Vance,  for  early  in  1865  he  sent 
him  a  "black  hat  of  our  make."7  Thus  on  that  May  day  of 
1865  the  famous  war  Governor  and  the  immigrant  Jew 
started  out  on  the  long  buggy  ride  to  Salisbury  surrounded 
by  two  hundred  Federal  cavalrymen. 

Wittkowsky  was  fond  of  recalling  that  ride  in  later  years. 
He  often  told  how  Vance  turned  to  him,  wiped  the  tears 
from  his  cheeks,  and  said:  "This  will  not  do.  I  must  be  a 
man,  but  I  am  not  so  much  concerned  as  to  what  may  be  in 
store  for  me,  but  my  poor  wife  and  little  children —they 
have  not  a  cent  of  money— and  my  poor  State— what  indig- 

•  40- 

nity  may  be  in  store  for  her?"8  As  they  rode  on,  however, 
Vance's  naturally  good  spirits  returned,  and  by  the  time 
they  reached  Salisbury  he  had  so  charmed  the  Yankees 
with  his  stories  that  they  spared  him  the  indignity  of  riding 
into  town  an  obvious  prisoner.  Thus  began  his  intimate 
acquaintance  with  a  Jew  whose  slogan  "Push,  Pluck  and 
Perseverance"  was  to  make  him  a  leading  and  valuable 
citizen  of  Charlotte,  a  city  in  which  he  and  Vance  were 
often  to  meet. 

In  Washington,  on  May  20, 1865,  Vance  was  consigned 
to  Old  Capitol  Prison.  Vance's  efforts  to  soften  the  horrors 
of  war  and  to  care  for  Federal  prisoners  soon  came  to  the 
attention  of  the  irascible  Secretary  of  War,  Edwin  M.  Stan- 
ton. On  July  6  the  Governor  was  paroled  within  the  limits 
of  North  Carolina,  Stanton  saying  to  him,  "  'Upon  your 
record  you  stand  acquitted.'  "9  Vance  spent  the  next  six 
months  in  weighing  the  possibilities  of  Wilmington  and 
Charlotte  as  opportune  cities  for  the  practice  of  law.  Con- 
fidence in  Charlotte's  future  and  absence  of  serious  legal 
competition  there  were  responsible  for  his  decision  in  favor 
of  that  city. 

Charlotte  had  just  received  its  city  charter  and,  in  1866, 
boasted  of  some  three  thousand  inhabitants.  Vance  was 
destined  to  spend  ten  years  in  this  pleasant  little  city  which 
was  to  become  the  most  thriving  community  in  the  state 
before  the  turn  of  the  century.  His  genial  personality  radi- 
ated through  the  streets  of  the  town;  his  appearances  in 
court  "became  gala  occasions"  during  which  the  populace 
suspended  business.10  The  Attorney's  popularity  and  avail- 
ability soon  brought  him  political  honors  almost  without 
effort  on  his  part.  On  November  29,  1870,  the  legislature 
elected  him  United  States  senator.  The  cinders  of  war, 
however,  had  not  yet  cooled  sufficiently  to  allow  so  impor- 
tant an  ex-Confederate  to  have  a  voice  in  the  upper  council 
of  the  nation.  The  Republican  Senate  refused  to  seat  him, 
and  he  settled  down  to  six  more  years  of  the  law.  When 

•  41  • 


these  were  over  he  was  to  be  in  public  service  for  the  rest 
of  his  life. 

Vance's  Charlotte  years  brought  him  into  intimate  ac- 
quaintance with  a  number  of  Jewish  merchants.  The  con- 
centration of  Jewish  stores  in  the  proximity  of  his  law  office 
afforded  opportunities  for  daily  close  contact.  More  than 
one  good  Vance  story  must  have  had  its  first  telling  in  the 
"merchantile  establishments"  which  lined  the  center  of  the 
town.  The  great  majority  of  Charlotte  Jews  was  of  German 
origin.  They  were  the  young,  able,  and  enterprising  part  of 
German  Jewry  who  probably  left  Europe  because  of  the 
attractions  of  the  New  World  rather  than  the  persecutions 
of  the  Old.  The  combination  of  a  good  secular  education, 
nineteenth-century  German  liberalism,  and  good  business 
sense  made  for  solid  citizenship.  The  Jewish  community  in 
Charlotte  dated  from  the  early  1850's.  "When  the  railroad 
got  to  town  the  merchants  multiplied,"  wrote  the  county 
historian.  "Ready-made  clothing  first  made  its  appearance 
with  the  advent  of  Levi  Drucker.  The  Israelites  followed 
close  on  the  coming  of  the  railroads.  They  have  proved 
amongst  our  best  citizens."11  The  small  Jewish  settlement 
took  an  active  part  in  the  war.  In  1861  the  Jewish  women 
raised  $150  to  assist  the  volunteers  and  were  commended 
for  their  interest.12  The  Charlotte  Grays  marched  to  war 
with  E.  B.  Cohen  as  first  lieutenant,  and  there  was  a  fair 
sprinkling  of  Jewish  names  in  the  muster  roll  of  the  First 
North  Carolina  Regiment  which  was  enlisted  in  Charlotte 
in  186 1.13  With  the  end  of  the  war,  Jewish  mercantile  estab- 
lishments multiplied.  Vance's  Statesville  friend,  Wittkow- 
sky,  moved  to  Charlotte  and  with  Jacob  Rintels  re-estab- 
lished the  prewar  firm  of  Wittkowsky  and  Rintels.  The 
partners  rented  a  room  twenty-one  feet  square,  bought  some 
old,  rough  planking,  and  put  up  the  calico-covered  shelving 
themselves.14  In  the  1880's  Wittkowsky  turned  to  pioneer- 
ing in  the  cotton  mill  industry  in  the  vicinity  of  Charlotte. 
From  the  sale  of  cotton  mill  stock  on  weekly  payment  terms 



of  twenty-five  cents  a  share,  he  organized  in  1883  the  Me- 
chanics Perpetual  Building  and  Loan  Association,  which 
is  today  the  second  largest  organization  of  its  kind  in  the 
state.  In  his  last  years  Wittkowsky  was  president  of  the 
North  Carolina  Building  and  Loan  League,  and  today  he  is 
recognized  as  the  father  of  that  type  of  enterprise  in  the 
Upper  South.  In  1902  the  Charlotte  News  and  Times  Dem- 
ocrat called  him  the  city's  most  useful  citizen  although  "not 
only  an  adopted  citizen  of  his  present  home,  but  a  native  of 
a  foreign  land."15 

Vance,  admittedly  improvident  in  his  own  affairs,  ad- 
mired Wittkowsky's  contributions  to  the  state's  enterprises. 
But  the  direct  extent  of  Wittkowsky's  influence  on  Vance's 
Jewish  interests  is  conjectural.  An  estimate  of  this  influ- 
ence must  be  discounted  by  the  fact  that  Wittkowsky  is  re- 
membered today  as  an  assimilationist  with  few  Jewish 
interests.  He  did,  however,  state  publicly  at  the  time  of 
Vance's  death: 

I  speak  for  my  race  in  North  Carolina — aye  for  my 
people  of  the  whole  Union.  The  deceased  has  ever  by  his 
words  and  writings  demonstrated  that  he  was  their  friend. 
His  lecture  on  the  Scattered  Nation  will  ever  remain  green 
in  the  memory  of  my  race,  and  will  be  one  of  the  brightest 
jewels  to  his  ever  liberal,  fair  and  untarnished  escutcheon. 
And  I  venture  here  the  assertion  that  in  the  history  of 
North  Carolina  no  Israelite  has  cast  a  vote  against  Z.  B. 

Samuel  Wittkowksy  was  the  most  intimate,  but  not  by 
any  means  the  only  one  of  Vance's  Jewish  friends.  Strolling 
along  the  sunny  streets  of  downtown  Charlotte,  stopping  to 
chat  under  the  awnings  or  inside  the  shops,  his  daily  routine 
brought  him  into  constant  conversation  with  Jewish  mer- 
chants. There  were  Elias  and  Cohen,  Kahnweiler  Brothers, 
B.  Koopman,  H.  and  B.  Emanuel,  D.  Blum,  N.  Reichen- 
berg,  S.  Frankenthal,  and  Asher  and  Company  among  the 
dry  goods  concerns.  The  local  photographer  was  a  German 

.43  • 


Jew  named  Baumgardener.  J.  Hirshinger  was  a  pioneer  in 
the  manufacture  of  clothing  in  the  district,  and  Jonas  SchifF 
established  the  first  local  tannery.  A  branch  of  the  later 
famous  Baruch  family  also  resided  in  Charlotte  during 
Vance's  time.  These  families  almost  universally  came 
South  with  some  capital.  They  helped  stabilize  conditions 
after  the  war  by  putting  this  much-needed  capital  into  cir- 
culation, by  furnishing  opportunities  for  employment,  and 
by  opening  new  fields  of  endeavor.  If  the  word  of  older 
substantial  inhabitants  is  to  be  taken,  these  Jews  of  Recon- 
struction days  were  a  group  of  men  whose  liberality,  integ- 
rity, and  honesty  made  Jews  popular  and  welcome  in  Char- 
lotte. The  newspapers  of  the  day  frequently  carried  items 
of  Jewish  news.  Vance's  Biblical  interests  stimulated  his 
study  of  Jewish  history;  his  firsthand  acquaintance  with 
representative  Jews  and  his  natural  humanitarianism  made 
him  plead  for  tolerance.  Together,  these  strains  helped  to 
create  the  "Scattered  Nation." 

While  Vance's  courthouse  trials  were  brightening  the 
gloomy  days  of  Carpetbag  government,  a  new  interest  pre- 
sented itself.  Vance  began  to  capitalize  on  his  natural  speak- 
ing ability  and  to  accept  professional  lecture  engagements 
to  supplement  his  meager  income.  In  the  days  before  the 
automobile,  motion  picture,  and  radio  had  brought  about 
the  "Recreational  Revolution,"  the  lyceum  was  still  popular. 
As  early  as  the  campaign  of  1860  Vance  had  been  recog- 
nized as  a  stump  speaker  without  peer  in  the  state.  During 
the  war  inspirational  speeches  to  General  Robert  E.  Lee's 
army  made  Vance  one  of  the  outstanding  orators  of  the 
South.17  Vance's  style  of  speaking  was  peculiarly  his  own. 
His  remarkable  resourcefulness  in  adapting  himself  to 
every  type  of  audience  by  means  of  local  illustrations  and 
interests,  and  his  keen,  sparkling  wit  have  been  attributed 
to  the  Norman  and  Irish  blood  in  his  veins.  He  had  an  end- 
less flow  of  stories  to  nail  down  important  points.  These 
anecdotes  were  invariably  clear  and  pointed  and  always  il- 

•  44  • 

lustrative  of  some  larger  theme,  and  he  had  the  rare  ability 
to  go  on  at  almost  any  length  without  tiring  his  audiences. 
Yet  when  he  was  through,  amidst  the  vigorous  applause, 
the  main  points  of  his  speech  had  been  driven  home. 

As  Vance  neared  forty,  matured  perhaps  by  the  war  and 
its  aftermath,  the  bumpkin  spellbinder  became  the  success- 
ful, serious  lecturer.  There  were  two  distinct  strains  in  his 
character  which  have  not  always  been  recognized.  More 
than  once  his  most  intimate  friends  made  the  mistake  of 
believing  that  while  Vance  was  an  incomparable  country 
jury  lawyer  and  stump  speaker,  he  could  not  make  a  success 
of  seriousness.  Twice  he  proved  them  wrong.  In  the  midst 
of  the  Civil  War  the  jocose  colonel  became  the  grim,  ef- 
ficient war  governor.  In  1879  his  friends  feared  that  he 
would  be  a  failure  in  the  Senate,  that  he  would  amuse  the 
august  body,  but  would  win  no  respect.  Again  they  were 
mistaken.  Like  Lincoln,  Vance  was  one  of  the  few  men  who 
could  successfully  combine  incessant  jocularity  with  seri- 
ousness and  get  credit  for  seriousness. 

Vance's  first  important  lecture  after  the  war  was  "The 
Duties  of  Defeat"  which  he  delivered  as  the  commencement 
address  at  the  University  of  North  Carolina,  June  7,  1866. 
He  spent  much  time  in  careful  preparation,  and  the  address 
was  well  received.  Soon  the  Tar  Heel  orator  was  speaking 
in  large  lecture  halls  in  Baltimore,  Philadelphia,  and  New 
Orleans,  to  county  fairs,  historical  societies,  boards  of  trade, 
and  graduating  classes.18  He  spent  his  evenings  at  home 
and  in  small-town  hotels  while  on  circuit  in  the  careful 
preparation  of  these  lectures.  With  the  encouragement  of 
friends  at  Chapel  Hill,  he  widened  his  intellectual  horizon 
with  much  reading.  By  the  early  1870's  Vance's  national 
reputation  as  a  platform  speaker  was  firmly  established. 
He  continued  to  speak  in  all  parts  of  the  country  to  a  great 
variety  of  audiences  until  interrupted  by  serious  illness  five 
years  before  his  death.  Among  his  best-known  lectures 
were  "The  Demagogue"  and  "The  Humorous  Side  of  Pol- 

•  45  • 

•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

itics."  As  the  Civil  War  crystallized  into  history  he  put  his 
intimate  knowledge  of  that  conflict  to  good  use  and  de- 
lighted the  Yankees  of  a  Grand  Army  of  the  Republic  post 
in  Boston  with  "The  Political  and  Social  South  During  the 
War."  Another  lecture  of  this  type  which  received  consid- 
erable notice  was  "The  Last  Days  of  the  War  in  North 
Carolina,"  delivered  before  the  Association  of  the  Mary- 
land Line  at  Baltimore.  These  speeches  were,  of  course, 
written  from  the  southern  point  of  view,  but  were  prepared 
with  meticulous  care  and  with  a  surprising  amount  of  at- 
tention paid  to  historical  accuracy.  Despite  his  careful  ef- 
forts, however,  Vance's  Civil  War  lectures  have  long  since 
been  forgotten.  His  one  literary  effort  destined  to  survive 
dealt  with  the  history  of  "The  Scattered  Nation."  This  fact 
requires  considerable  additional  explanation. 

Major  Clement  Dowd,  Vance's  law  partner,  close  friend, 
and  official  biographer,  believed  that  it  was  the  love  of  Bib- 
lical history  which  first  turned  Vance's  attention  to  the 
Jews.19  There  can  be  no  question  that  the  influence  of  his 
mother  and  his  first  wife  and  the  strongly  Calvinist  sur- 
roundings in  which  he  lived  account  for  his  unusual  ac- 
quaintance with  and  devotion  to  the  "Book  of  Books."  The 
interest  long  antedated  all  Jewish  acquaintances  and  con- 
nections. The  mother,  Mrs.  Margaret  Baird  Vance,  was  a 
most  unusual  woman.  Although  her  letters  do  not  reflect 
a  great  deal  of  formal  education,  she  was  steeped  in  the 
knowledge  of  the  Bible  and  such  secular  masters  as  Shake- 
speare and  Sir  Walter  Scott.  Tradition  asserts  that  Zeb's 
intimate  knowledge  of  these  works  began  at  his  mother's 
knee.20  The  first  Mrs.  Vance,  born  Harriet  N.  Espy,  vir- 
tually lived  in  the  pages  of  the  "good  book."  "Hattie"  Vance, 
daughter  of  a  Presbyterian  minister,  guided  her  entire  life 
by  Calvinist  theology.  The  same  "Institutes  of  the  Christian 
Religion"  which  caused  James  Truslow  Adams  to  call  the 
Puritans  Jews  in  spirit  influenced  Mrs.  Vance's  religion 
deeply.  Vance  lost  his  mother  and  wife  within  a  few  weeks. 

.46  • 

•   SELIG  ADLER  • 

Both  women  were  eulogized  by  the  North  Carolina  Pres- 
bytery as  "mothers  in  Israel."  The  same  pamphlet  went  on 
to  say  that  God's  "promises  to  Abraham  hold  good  now  to 
all  who  share  Abraham's  faith."21  Vance  himself  wrote  that 
Hattie  Espy  joined  her  fortunes  with  his  when  he  was  "a 
wild  &  obscure  young  man."22  She  stimulated  his  interest 
in  the  Bible  so  that  he  read  it  for  hours  at  a  time. 

Vance's  mastery  of  the  Old  Testament  was  said  to  have 
exceeded  that  of  any  other  layman  in  the  Bible-reading  Old 
North  State.  His  speeches,  writings,  and  personal  corre- 
spondence were  saturated  with  Biblical  quotations  and  il- 
lustrations. He  wrote  to  the  Confederate  Secretary  of  War 
that  had  his  undisciplined  cavalry  been  sent  as  one  of  the 
ten  plagues  against  Pharaoh,  "  'he  never  would  have  fol- 
lowed the  children  of  Israel  to  the  Red  Sea.  No  sir,  not  an 
inch!'  "23  The  war-torn  people  of  North  Carolina  were  to 
Vance  "this  suffering  and  much  oppressed  Israel."24  He 
told  Tammany  Hall  after  the  war  that  the  northern  Dem- 
ocrats were  wandering  after  "Moabitish  women."25  Vance 
was  not  yet  a  member  of  the  church  during  his  Charlotte 
days,  but  with  Hattie  and  the  boys  he  regularly  attended 
the  First  Presbyterian  Church.  There  he  listened  to  the 
sermons  of  Dr.  Arnold  De  Welles  Miller.  That  divine  was 
so  interested  in  the  "people  of  the  book"  that  one  Sunday 
a  year  he  invited  all  Charlotte  Hebrews  to  his  church,  sat 
them  in  the  front  pews,  and  devoted  his  sermon  to  the  Old 
Testament.26  Motivations  from  this  source  were  not  lacking 
to  attract  Vance's  attention  to  the  possibilities  of  a  lecture 
on  the  Jewish  people. 

Besides  his  devotion  to  what  he  would  have  termed  "sa- 
cred history,"  Vance  was  very  much  interested  in  secular 
history.  Here  his  interests  were  divided  between  the  inti- 
mate details  of  the  great  American  conflict  in  which  he  had 
participated  and  ancient  history.  He  was  a  vice-president 
of  the  Southern  Historical  Society  and  helped  organize  a 
branch  of  the  association  in  North  Carolina.  Unlike  so 


•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

many  of  his  contemporaries  in  historical  associations,  North 
and  South,  his  interests  and  readings  were  not  confined  to 
the  story  of  the  thirteen  colonies  and  the  wars  and  battles 
of  the  republic.  Vance  had  a  broad  reading  knowledge  of, 
and  acquaintance  with,  classical  history  which  is  readily 
apparent  in  all  his  works.  The  "Scattered  Nation"  shows 
the  familiarity  of  its  author  with  Egyptian,  Phoenician, 
and  Carthaginian  history.  He  speaks  familiarly  of  the  wor- 
ship of  Isis  and  Osiris,  Baal  and  Astarte.  From  quotations 
one  concludes  that  he  had  read  Tacitus  and  Josephus.  He 
discusses  with  ease  the  Hellenistic  influence  on  Jewish 
thought.  His  other  speeches  and  writings  give  similar  evi- 
dence of  wide  reading  and  intimate  acquaintance  with  the 
broad  movements  of  general  history  as  they  were  inter- 
preted by  the  best  writers  of  his  time.  The  "Scattered  Na- 
tion" reveals  that  Vance  had  even  encountered  the  advance 
guard  of  the  higher  Biblical  critics.  But  his  general  ap- 
proach, while  rationalistic  to  some  extent,  is  that  of  the  con- 
ventional southern  fundamentalist. 

Vance's  Biblical  and  historical  interests  account  for  the 
part  of  the  "Scattered  Nation"  interpreting  ancient  Jewish 
history  as  he  saw  it.  The  touching  plea  for  tolerance  and 
justice  for  the  Jew  came  from  other  sources.  We  have  al- 
ready considered  what  part  might  have  been  played  by  inti- 
mate Jewish  contacts.  Outside  of  these,  Vance  was  broadly 
humanitarian,  kindhearted,  and  tolerant.  His  whole  person- 
ality and  character  radiated  kindness.  Formally  within  the 
folds  of  the  Presbyterian  Church  after  1878,  he  was  never 
in  the  least  narrow-minded  or  bigoted.  Two  years  after  the 
death  of  his  wife,  he  fell  in  love  with  and  married  Mrs.  Flor- 
ence Steele  Martin  of  Louisville.  Mrs.  Martin  was  a  widow 
of  some  means  and  a  devout  Catholic.  Only  one  acquainted 
with  the  southern  Protestant  attitude  toward  Catholicism 
can  appreciate  the  significance  of  this  step  and  the  concern 
it  caused  Vance.  He  wrote  to  a  close  friend  that  his  bride- 
to-be  was  suited  to  him  in  every  way  except  "that  she  is 

.48  • 


a  Catholic.  Think  of  it!  What  will  my  Presbyterian  friends 
say  to  me?  This  part  of  it  gives  me  much  concern,  but  I 
am . . .  still  enough  of  a  boy  to  scorn  policy  in  such  a  matter, 
and  to  listen  somewhat  to  the  suggestions  of  my  heart."27 
The  marriage  proved  to  be  a  most  happy  one.  Occasionally 
there  were  rumors  that  Vance  was  to  be  converted  to  his 
wife's  faith  and  some  looked  askance  at  his  tolerance,  but 
on  the  whole  he  seems  to  have  made  an  excellent  adjust- 
ment. The  entire  episode,  in  retrospect,  is  another  example 
of  that  open-mindedness  in  his  character  which  inspired  the 
"Scattered  Nation." 

Jewish  writers  of  these  present  gloomy  days  often  look 
back  at  the  nineteenth  century  as  the  "halcyon  days"  of  mod- 
ern Jewish  history.  While  Aryanism,  the  "streamlined" 
Teutonic  pogrom,  and  wholesale  anti-Semitic  propaganda 
were  still  far  in  the  future,  anti-Jewish  feeling  was  much 
more  than  an  abstraction  in  the  1870's.  The  very  writing 
and  repeated  delivery  of  the  "Scattered  Nation,"  and  the 
charges  that  it  refutes,  give  proof  that  the  Jewish  situation 
even  in  the  United  States  was  far  from  ideal.  There  were 
somewhat  less  than  five  hundred  Jews  in  North  Carolina 
at  the  time  Vance  wrote  the  speech,  a  fact  that  discounts  all 
political  motives.28  North  Carolina  had  long  given  concern 
to  the  defenders  of  Jewish  rights.  The  Secession  Conven- 
tion of  1861  had  continued  in  the  constitution  to  refuse  the 
right  "of  holding  any  office  or  place  of  trust  or  profit  in  the 
civil  department"  to  any  person  "who  shall  deny  .  .  .  the 
divine  authority  either  of  the  Old  or  New  Testaments."29 
The  1865  Convention  made  no  change  in  the  situation,  but 
the  Constitutional  Convention  of  1868,  apparently  without 
debate,  altered  the  clause  so  as  to  admit  Jews  to  public 
office.30  Thus,  Vance's  plea  for  social  equality  came  almost 
immediately  after  the  state  had  belatedly  removed  the  last 
remaining  Jewish  civil  disqualifications.  In  the  1870's,  es- 
pecially in  the  North,  the  Jewish  question  took  a  new  form. 
Following  the  Federal  victory  Jews  flocked  into  the  coun- 

•  49  . 


try  in  larger  numbers  than  ever  before.  The  German-Jewish 
families  who  had  become  wealthy  with  the  boom  of  the 
1860's  began  to  feel  discrimination  in  mountain  and  sea- 
shore resorts  and  were  excluded  from  certain  clubs  and  fra- 
ternities. Social  ostracism  replaced  the  religious  prejudice 
of  the  earlier  part  of  the  century.31  A  flood  of  Gentile  voices 
decried  the  new  attitude  as  out  of  harmony  with  American 
tradition.  Vance's  voice  was  but  one  of  many  which  in- 
cluded William  Cullen  Bryant,  poet;  James  Parton,  emi- 
nent biographer;  and  James  K.  Hosmer,  historian.32  Vance's 
apologia  may  be  considered  as  part  of  the  reaction  against 
the  anti-Jewish  feeling  attendant  upon  the  first  large  wave 
of  Jewish  immigration  to  these  shores.  Because  of  its  au- 
thor's position  and  eloquence  and  because  of  its  essential 
coherence  and  beauty  it  was  the  only  part  of  this  type  of 
American  Judaica  of  the  period  to  survive. 

The  date  of  the  first  composition  and  delivery  of  the 
"Scattered  Nation"  is  unknown.  The  year  1882  has  often 
been  incorrectly  cited  in  various  oratorical  collections  which 
have  reprinted  the  speech.  The  New  York  Tribune  of  July 
17,  1876,  mentions  the  speech  as  having  been  repeatedly 
delivered  by  Vance.  Internal  evidence  within  the  essay 
would  indicate  that  it  was  written  sometime  between  1868 
and  18 73. 33  It  was  undoubtedly  one  of  those  lectures  which 
Vance  delivered  during  his  Charlotte  years  to  supplement 
his  law  income.  The  exact  occasion  of  the  first  delivery  is 
similarly  lost  to  history.34  In  later  years  the  speech  was  re- 
peated an  almost  countless  number  of  times  before  Gentile 
and  Jewish  audiences.  A  simple  reading  of  the  document, 
however,  would  indicate  that  it  was  originally  intended  for 
the  Gentile  public.35  During  the  course  of  some  fifteen  to 
twenty  years  in  which  Vance  was  repeating  the  speech,  he 
must  have  made  many  changes  in  the  text.  It  was  his  cus- 
tom to  alter  his  lecture  topics  as  he  repeated  them.36  The 
present  writer  is  of  the  opinion  that  the  "Scattered  Nation" 
underwent  considerable  revision  during  the  early  1880's. 



The  Russian  pogroms  of  1881  had  focused  much  attention 
on  the  Jewish  question,  the  matter  even  entering  discussion 
in  the  halls  of  Congress.  This  interest  must  have  resulted 
in  many  additional  invitations  to  deliver  the  lecture.  The 
final  version  of  the  speech  mentions  the  "recent  barbarities 
inflicted  upon  them  in  Russia,"  followed  by  what  is  doubt- 
less a  description  of  the  pogroms  which  persisted  from  April 
to  December,  1881. 37  "How  sad  it  is,"  Vance  said,  "again 
to  hear  that  old  cry  of  Jewish  sorrow,  which  we  had  hoped 
to  hear  no  more  forever!"38  Inasmuch  as  the  Russian  Jews 
enjoyed  a  relative  degree  of  security  during  the  reign  of 
Tsar  Alexander  II  from  1855  to  1881,  Vance  must  have 
been  referring  to  the  events  of  the  last  year.  The  fact  that 
the  speech  was  revised  and  again  popularized  during  this 
period  would  explain  the  common  error  of  setting  1882  as 
the  date  of  original  composition.39 

The  "Scattered  Nation"  is  distinctly  one  of  Vance's  seri- 
ous efforts.  There  is  little  in  it  to  indicate  that  it  was  written 
by  a  man  who  enjoyed  a  reputation  for  drollery.  It  is  another 
illustration  of  the  deeper,  metaphysical  side  of  Zebulon 
Vance,  so  often  clouded  by  his  delightful  wit  and  easy  man- 
nerism. The  lecture  is  a  composition  resulting  from  Vance's 
mastery  of  the  Old  Testament  and  conventional  secondary 
accounts  on  Jewish  subjects.  It  is  written  in  beautiful  imag- 
ery and  garnished  with  apt  and  unusual  quotations  from 
literature.  The  name  of  the  speech  is  not  original.40  Vance's 
extra-Biblical  sources  are  often  readily  discernible.  He  in- 
troduced his  subject  with  a  striking  description  of  the  Gulf 
Stream  from  the  famous  southern  oceanographer,  Matthew 
Fontaine  Maury.  This  was  followed  by  an  analogy  of  Israel 
to  the  Gulf  Stream— a  river  of  people  winding  through  the 
sea  of  nations.  He  turned  to  the  dawn  of  Jewish  history  by 
quoting  at  length  a  condensation  of  the  articles  on  the  sub- 
ject in  the  American  Cyclopaedia.41  Vance  mentioned  his 
indebtedness  to  The  History  of  the  Jews  by  Henry  Hart 
Milman.  Dean  Milman  was  a  nineteenth-century  English 

•  51  • 


clergyman  whose  attitude  toward  Jewish  history  was  both 
rationalistic  and  sympathetic.  For  Jewish  contributions  to 
medieval  civilization,  Vance  consulted  John  W.  Draper's 
History  of  the  Intellectual  Development  of  Europe.  Draper 
was  a  contemporary  professor  of  chemistry  at  New  York 
University  whose  historical  writings  were  then  in  vogue. 
While  Vance's  researches  were  far  from  exhaustive,  the 
essay  exhibits  a  considerable  amount  of  careful  preparation. 
The  entire  effort  is  woven  into  the  background  of  general 
reading  and  knowledge.  Its  chief  survival  value  lies  in  its 
beautiful  rhetoric,  logical  organization,  and,  in  parts,  orig- 
inality and  freshness. 

A  detailed  analysis  of  the  "Scattered  Nation"  is  beyond 
the  scope  of  the  present  article.  Even  if  space  permitted,  a 
condensation  would  be  out  of  order  with  the  majestic  orig- 
inal so  easily  accessible.  The  timber  beams  around  which 
the  lecture  is  constructed  are:  the  introduction,  the  origin 
of  the  Jewish  people  and  their  religion,  the  Jewish  the- 
ocratic state,  its  condition  in  Biblical  times,  the  present 
state  of  the  Jews— their  habits  and  peculiarities,  the  ques- 
tion of  persecution,  and  the  peroration.  In  places  Vance 
reveals  his  southern  prejudices.  For  the  sake  of  the  Negro, 
constitutions  were  violated,  laws  and  partisan  courts  were 
used  to  force  an  unnatural  racial  equality,  yet  Jews,  "those 
from  whom  we  derive  our  civilization,  kinsmen,  after  the 
flesh,  of  Him  whom  we  esteem  as  the  Son  of  God  and  Savior 
of  Men,  [are]  ignomin[i]ously  ejected  from  hotels  and  wa- 
tering places  as  unworthy  the  association  of  men  who  had 
grown  rich  by  the  sale  of  a  new  brand  of  soap  or  an  im- 
proved patent  rat-trap!"42  Vance  went  on  to  say  that  he 
did  not  question  the  existence  of  "Jewish  scoundrels  in  great 
abundance,"  but  as  to  the  prevalence  of  Gentile  knaves  in 
still  greater  numbers,  "Southern  reconstruction  put  that 
fact  beyond  a  peradventure."43  Nor  could  he  miss  the  op- 
portunity of  a  thrust  at  some  of  his  Yankee  friends:  "Is 
there  any  man  who  hears  me  to-night,"  he  asked  his  audi- 
ts • 


ences,  "who,  if  a  Yankee  and  a  Jew  were  to  'lock  horns'  in 
a  regular  encounter  of  commercial  wits,  would  not  give 
large  odds  on  the  Yankee?  My  own  opinion  is  that  the 
genuine  'guessing'  Yankee,  with  a  jackknife  and  a  pine 
shingle  could  in  two  hours  time  whittle  the  smartest  Jew 
in  New  York  out  of  his  homestead  in  the  Abrahamic  cov- 

Unlike  many  Judeophiles,  Vance  did  not  overstate  his 
case.  He  did  not  paint  the  modern  Jews  as  a  people  incap- 
able of  the  foibles  of  the  other  species  of  mankind.  Perhaps 
it  was  Vance's  kindly  objectivity  that  explains  the  strength 
of  his  plea.  Despite  seventy  years  of  kaleidoscopic  events, 
the  "Scattered  Nation"  is  still  a  vigorous  answer  to  twen- 
tieth-century anti-Semitism.  "Strike  out  all  of  Judaism  from 
the  Christian  church,"  he  said,  "and  there  remains  nothing 
but  an  unmeaning  superstition."45  The  Jew  should  be 
judged  "as  we  judge  other  men— by  his  merits.  And  above 
all,  let  us  cease  the  abominable  injustice  of  holding  the  class 
responsible  for  the  sins  of  the  individual.  We  apply  this 
test  to  no  other  people."46 

How  many  times  and  in  which  cities  Vance  delivered  the 
"Scattered  Nation"  can  only  be  a  matter  of  surmise.  A  num- 
ber of  invitations  from  Jewish  and  Gentile  organizations  to 
speak  on  the  subject  are  in  the  Vance  Papers,  but  these  are 
only  fragmentary.  For  instance,  in  1878  "The  Israelites  of 
Goldsboro"  sent  Vance  a  formal  petition  to  deliver  his  "cele- 
brated lecture,"  the  admission  proceeds  to  be  used  for  the 
benefit  of  yellow  fever  sufferers  in  the  South.  The  petition 
also  contained  the  request  of  various  Christian  clergymen, 
the  Presbyterian  minister  adding  that  the  speech  would  also 
be  appreciated  "by  those  of  us  who  are  not  of  Israel."  In 
1880  twenty-eight  members  of  a  Washington  church  pe- 
titioned Vance  to  deliver  the  lecture,  the  receipts  to  be  used 
for  parish  work.  Over  the  course  of  some  fifteen  years  it 
was  delivered  hundreds  of  times  and  "in  almost  every  im- 
portant city  in  the  United  States."47  Vance's  lecturing  ac- 

•  53. 

•   ZEBULON    B.   VANCE  • 

tivities  were  halted  by  the  loss  of  an  eye  in  1889.  This  was 
a  great  emotional  shock,  and  he  was  never  quite  himself  for 
the  remaining  five  years  of  his  life.  But  he  had  been  active 
long  enough  to  make  a  profound  and  lasting  impression  on 
Christian- Jewish  relations  in  North  Carolina.  A  funeral 
oration  by  a  Gentile  member  of  the  Charlotte  bar  reads  in 
part:  "Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  The  Scattered  Nation  gathers 
round  his  tomb  and  weeps.  No  High  Priest,  clad  in  Heaven- 
appointed  robes,  e'er  plead  the  cause  of  Israel's  race  more 
valiantly  than  he."48  The  Charlotte  Observer  commented 
on  a  memorial  meeting  held  at  the  time  of  Vance's  death: 
"Perhaps  there  never  was  before  a  memorial  meeting  held 
in  honor  of  a  great  Gentile  prince  at  which  a  representative 
of  the  Israelitish  nation  stood  up  and  paid  such  a  tribute  as 
did  Samuel  Wittkowsky  yesterday  to  the  memory  of  Zeb- 
ulon  B.  Vance.  The  scene  was  unique  if  not  unprecedented 
and  unparalleled."49  Nor  has  the  "Scattered  Nation"  lecture 
been  forgotten  by  North  Carolinians  throughout  the  years. 
It  has  become  a  part  of  southern  literature  reprinted  in 
Oratory  of  the  South,  Modern  Eloquence,  Library  of  South- 
ern Literature,  and  in  three  separate,  bound  editions.50  As 
late  as  1928  a  new  edition  was  published  by  Alfred  Wil- 
liams and  Company  of  Raleigh,  and  at  present  there  are 
plans  under  way  for  still  another  edition.  In  1922  the  lec- 
ture was  reprinted  in  full  in  the  Asheville  Citizen  at  the 
request  of  a  non-Jewess.51  The  Greensboro  Daily  News 
of  January  31,  1926,  termed  Vance  "the  latest  Jewish 
prophet"  whose  famous  lecture  "has  almost  attained  a  place 
in  Hebrew  sacred  literature."  The  past  decade  of  Jewish 
torment  has  more  than  once  given  rise  to  the  vain  regret, 
"would  that  the  voice  of  Vance  were  heard  again  in  the 

With  the  exception  of  his  North  Carolina  "Israelitish  in- 
timates," Vance's  Jewish  connections  do  not  appear  to  have 
been  extensive.  One  finds  among  his  effects  an  occasional 
elaborately  engraved  tribute  from  a  Jewish  congregation 



or  society.  A  typical  one  encloses  a  "small  tribute"  for  his 
efforts  and  concludes:  "Believing  as  we  do  in  the  God  of 
Israel,  the  God  of  the  Bible,  the  prayers  of  this  portion  of 
the  'Scattered  Nation'  will  be  sincerely  offered  in  your  be- 
half."53 But  if  an  argument  from  silence  is  valid,  Vance 
was  not  on  intimate  terms  with  the  Jewish  leaders  of  his 
day.  Such  Jewish  correspondence  as  is  preserved  is  almost 
entirely  from  obscure  persons.  For  instance,  a  Reverend 
S.  Gerstmann  of  St.  Joseph,  Missouri,  wanted  the  Senator's 
help  in  1878  in  securing  a  rabbinical  position  in  Rich- 
mond.54 Six  years  later  the  reverend  gentleman  hinted  that 
with  the  Democratic  return  to  power,  he  would  not  be 
averse  to  accepting  the  Jerusalem  consulship.55  Of  great 
significance  is  the  fact  that  the  American-Jewish  press  took 
very  little  notice  of  Vance's  death.  The  Israelite  of  Cin- 
cinnati and  the  American-Hebrew  of  New  York  did  not 
mention  his  passing.  The  New  York  Jewish  Messenger 
carried  a  short  notice  of  the  event,  adding  that  the  late 
Senator  Vance  "had  the  courage  to  say  on  the  platform  a 
good  word  for  the  Jew,  and  did  his  share  to  teach  his  coun- 
trymen, North  and  South,  some  needed  lessons  in  justice 
and  brotherhood."56 

Adequate  Jewish  appreciation  of  Vance's  services  did 
not  come  until  after  his  death.  The  1904  and  1916  editions 
of  the  essay  found  their  way  into  many  Jewish  homes  and 
libraries.  Jewish  recognition  of  Vance's  memory  has  grown 
with  the  years.  Shortly  after  the  close  of  the  World  War  of 
1914-1918,  the  venerable  philanthropist,  Nathan  Strauss, 
went  to  Asheville,  laid  a  wreath  on  Vance's  monument,  and 
said  that  he  did  not  want  to  die  without  discharging  a  debt 
of  gratitude.57  It  was  Strauss,  too,  who  built  a  suitable  fence 
around  the  monument  in  Asheville  City  Square.  In  1928 
the  Asheville  Lodge  of  B'nai  Brith  dedicated  a  plaque  to 
Vance's  memory  in  the  yard  of  Old  Calvary  Church  at  Ashe- 
ville, in  a  place  which  has  been  called  the  "Westminster 
Abbey  of  the  Southland."  An  assemblage  of  several  thou- 

•  55  . 

•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

sand,  including  many  dignitaries,  were  present  that  crisp 
fall  day  when  Rabbi  Stephen  S.  Wise  formally  expressed 
the  tribute  of  American  Jewry  to  Vance.58 

The  dark  years  of  the  1930's  have  brought  the  members 
of  the  "Scattered  Nation"  even  closer  to  Vance's  memory. 
The  American-Jewish  Times  of  September,  1936,  reprinted 
the  famous  lecture  in  full  in  its  New  Year's  edition  as  a 
message  of  hope  and  consolation  to  the  Jews  of  the  world. 
The  sparks  of  European  racial  hatred  and  intolerance  have 
even  fallen  in  the  very  shadow  of  Vance's  birthplace.  With 
them  has  come  a  refreshing  counteraction  from  the  font  of 
his  memory.  Each  May  13,  Vance's  birthday,  the  Asheville 
representatives  of  the  United  Daughters  of  the  Confederacy 
and  B'nai  Brith  sponsor  a  program  around  the  Vance  mon- 
ument. Here,  in  the  presence  of  the  city  officials  and  repre- 
sentatives of  other  organizations,  due  tribute  is  paid  to  the 
memory  of  this  beloved  North  Carolinian.  Despite  inten- 
sive devotion  to  his  native  state  and  section,  Zebulon  B. 
Vance  was  first  of  all  a  great  American.  The  paramount 
lesson  of  his  essay  is  that  the  people  of  the  United  States 
allow  the  prejudices  engendered  by  two  thousand  years  of 
Old  World  history  to  wither  in  the  fresher  breezes  of  the 
New  World  atmosphere. 

Reprinted  from  The  Journal  of  Southern  History,  Vol.  VII,  No.  3, 
August,  1941. 

Selig  Adler 

Selig  Adler  was  born  in  Baltimore  on  January  22,  1909. 
He  received  his  bachelor  of  arts  degree  from  the  University 
of  Buffalo  in  1931,  his  masters  and  doctorate  degrees  from 
the  University  of  Illinois  in  1932  and  1934.  He  was  a  Dis- 
tinguished Professor  of  History  at  the  University  of  Buffalo 
(later  the  State  University  of  New  York  at  Buffalo).  He 

•  56  • 


served  as  Visiting  Professor  of  History  at  Cornell  Univer- 
sity in  1951  and  1959,  and  as  Visiting  Professor  of  History 
at  the  University  of  Rochester  in  1952  and  1953.  He  was 
the  author  of  The  Isolationist  Impulse  1957,  From  Ararat 
to  Suburbia  I960,  and  The  Uncertain  Giant  1965. 


1.  Charlotte  Observer,  April  19,  1894. 

2.  R.  D.  W.  Connor,  Makers  of  North  Carolina  History  (Raleigh, 
1911), 239. 

3.  The  Ceremonies  Attending  the  Unveiling  of  the  Bronze  Statue  of 
Zeb  B.  Vance,  LL.D.  in  Capitol  Square,  Raleigh,  N.  C,  and  the  Ad- 
dress of  Richard  H.  Battle,  LL.D.,  August  22,  1900  (Raleigh,  1900), 

4.  Statement  of  Isidore  Wallace,  Statesville,  North  Carolina,  to  the 
writer,  July  27,  1939. 

5.  Statement  of  Noble  Bloomfield  Mills  to  the  writer,  July  27,  1939. 
Mr.  Mills  had  lived  all  his  eighty-seven  years  in  Statesville  or  the  im- 
mediate vicinity,  and  in  1939  was  still  actively  engaged  in  business. 

6.  Statement  of  Isidore  Wallace  to  the  writer,  July  27,  1939. 

7.  Samuel  Wittkowsky  to  Zebulon  B.  Vance,  January  29,  1865,  in 
Zebulon  B.  Vance  Papers  (North  Carolina  Historical  Commission,  Ra- 
leigh); Clement  Dowd,  Life  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance  (Charlotte,  1897) ,  95. 
The  writer  wishes  to  express  his  thanks  to  Dr.  Charles  C.  Crittenden, 
secretary  of  the  Commission,  and  to  other  members  of  the  staff  who 
allowed  him  to  make  use  of  the  material,  and  who  with  patience  and 
helpful  suggestions  guided  his  way  through  the  many  volumes  of  Vance 

8.  Unidentified  newspaper  clipping  found  among  a  collection  of 
Vance  Clippings  in  the  North  Carolina  Room,  University  of  North 
Carolina  Library.  A  slightly  different  version  of  Vance's  conversation 
with  Wittkowsky  may  be  found  in  Dowd,  Zebulon  B.  Vance,  96. 

9.  Dowd,  Zebulon  B.  Vance,  352. 

10.  Phillips  Russell,  "Hooraw  for  Vance!"  in  American  Mercury 
(New  York,  1924-),XXII  (1931),  238. 

11.  John  B.  Alexander,  The  History  of  Mecklenburg  County  from 
1 740  to  1 900  ( Charlotte,  1902 ) ,  379. 

12.  Daniel  A.  Tompkins,  History  of  Mecklenburg  Co.  and  the  City 
of  Charlotte  from  1740  to  1903,  2  vols.  (Charlotte,  1904),  I,  140. 

13.  Alexander,  History  of  Mecklenburg  County,  335  ff. 

14.  Unidentified  newspaper  clipping  from  a  collection  in  the  posses- 
sion of  the  Mechanics  Perpetual  Building  and  Loan  Association,  Char- 
lotte, North  Carolina. 

15.  Ibid. 

16.  Unidentified  newspaper  clipping,  in  Vance  Clippings. 

17.  Connor,  Makers  of  North  Carolina  History,  233-234. 


•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

18.  Dowd,  Zebulon  B.  Vance,  220. 

19.  Ibid.,  121. 

20.  Greensboro  Daily  News,  January  31,  1926. 

21.  In  Memory  of  Mrs.  Margaret  M.  Vance  and  Mrs.  Hariette  Espy 
Vance  (Raleigh,  1878),  8,  25. 

22.  Vance  to  Cornelia  P.  Spencer,  December  10,  1878,  in  Cornelia 
P.  Spencer  Papers  (North  Carolina  Historical  Commission,  Raleigh). 

23.  Quoted  in  Russell,  "Hooraw  for  Vance!"  in  loc.  cit.,  233. 

24.  Vance  to  David  L.  Swain,  September  22,  1864,  quoted  in  uni- 
dentified newspaper  clipping  in  Vance  Papers. 

25.  Vance  made  this  statement  in  his  Tammany  Hall  speech  of  July 
4,  1886.  D.  W.  McCauley  to  Vance,  July  19,  1886,  ibid. 

26.  Statement  of  Frank  D.  Alexander,  Charlotte,  to  the  writer,  July 
27,  1939. 

27.  Vance  to  Spencer,  May  6,  1880,  in  Spencer  Papers. 

28.  Iser  L.  Freund,  "Brief  History  of  the  Jews  of  North  Carolina" 
(MS.  in  possession  of  the  University  of  North  Carolina  Library). 

29.  Leon  Huhner,  "The  Struggle  for  Religious  Liberty  in  North 
Carolina,  with  Special  Reference  to  the  Jews,"  in  American  Jewish  His- 
torical Society,  Publications  (Baltimore,  1893-),  No.  16  (1907),  37- 
71;  Francis  N.  Thorpe  (ed.),  The  Federal  and  State  Constitutions, 
Colonial  Charters,  and  Other  Organic  Laws  of  the  .  .  .  United  States 
of  America,  7  vols.  (Washington,  1909),  V,  2793. 

30.  Huhner,  "The  Struggle  for  Religious  Liberty  in  North  Carolina," 
in  loc.  cit.,  68. 

31.  Alice  H.  Rhine,  "Race  Prejudice  at  Summer  Resorts,"  in  Forum 
(New  York,  1886-),  III  (1887),  523-531. 

32.  Ibid.,  524,  529;  James  Parton,  "Our  Israelitish  Brethren,"  in 
Atlantic  Monthly  (Boston,  1857-),  XXVI  (1870),  385-403. 

33.  The  earliest  reference  that  the  writer  has  been  able  to  find  con- 
cerning the  "Scattered  Nation"  was  written  in  1875.  By  that  date  it 
seems  that  the  lecture  was  already  well  known.  The  speech  begins, 
"Says  Professor  Maury."  Matthew  Fontaine  Maury  did  not  enter  aca- 
demic life  until  1868  when  he  became  a  member  of  the  faculty  of  the 
Virginia  Military  Institute,  so  the  introduction  was  written  after  1868. 
Maury  died  in  1873,  yet  there  is  no  mention  of  the  "late  distinguished 
Professor,"  or  some  other  tribute  that  Vance  would  have  likely  paid 
a  recently  deceased  eminent  ex-Confederate.  The  introduction,  then, 
sounds  very  much  as  if  it  were  written  before  Maury's  death.  There  is 
other  circumstantial  evidence  which  would  warrant  putting  the  date 
of  composition  between  the  above-mentioned  years.  See  H.  A.  Marmer, 
"Matthew  Fontaine  Maury,"  in  Dictionary  of  American  Biography,  20 
vols,  and  index  (New  York,  1928-1937),  XII,  430-431. 

34.  Tradition  asserts  that  the  "Scattered  Nation"  was  first  delivered 
in  Baltimore.  The  writer  was  unable  to  find  any  corroboration  after  a 
search  which  included  visits  to  the  Peabody  Institute  and  Enoch  Pratt 
Free  libraries  in  Baltimore.  Yet,  in  view  of  Vance's  close  Baltimore 
connections,  especially  in  the  person  of  Dr.  Thomas  J.  Boykin,  the  for- 
mer surgeon  of  his  regiment,  the  tradition  may  well  be  founded  in  fact. 

35.  For  instance,  Vance's  statement  that  the  Jews  "trouble  neither 
you  nor  me."  Dowd,  Zebulon  B.  Vance,  388.  All  quotations  and  refer- 

•  58  • 


ences  to  the  "Scattered  Nation"  are  to  the  version  in  ibid.,  369-399. 
The  various  editions  of  the  speech  differ  in  minor  details. 

36.  In  an  undated  letter  to  an  unidentified  correspondent,  in  the 
Vance  Papers,  Vance  wrote:  "No  danger  of  my  publishing  my  Lecture. 
I  want  to  repeat  it,  and  I  agree  with  you  that  it  is  not  prudent  to  put 
it  in  print.  I  have  rewritten  it,  and  'woven  in  the  thread'  you  mention." 
This  reference  may  or  may  not  be  to  the  "Scattered  Nation." 

37.  Herman  Rosenthal,  "Alexander  III.,  Alexandrovich,"  in  Jewish 
Encyclopedia,  12  vols.  (New  York,  1901-1906),  I,  347.  Vance  also 
spoke  of  the  new  German  anti-Semitism.  It  is  hardly  probable  that  he 
had  heard  of  this  new  movement  until  after  1878,  for  it  was  then  that 
Bismarck  turned  to  the  program  of  the  reactionaries.  This  part  of  the 
speech  also  was  probably  added  in  1882.  Gotthard  Deutsch,  "Anti- 
Semitism,"  ibid.,  644-645. 

38.  Dowd,  Zebulon  B.  Vance,  394. 

39.  Ashley  H.  Thorndike  (ed.),  Modern  Eloquence,  15  vols.  (New 
York,  1936),  XIII,  396.  This  source  states  that  the  speech  was  "de- 
livered in  1882  and  thereafter  in  various  places."  The  same  date  is  given 
in  various  other  oratorical  and  literary  collections. 

40.  For  instance,  The  Scattered  Nation;  Past,  Present  and  Future,  a 
missionary  periodical  addressed  to  the  Jews,  was  published  in  London 
in  the  1860's.  The  Israelite  of  March  3,  1871,  a  Cincinnati  Jewish  or- 
gan, published  an  article  under  the  same  title.  It  is  hardly  possible  that 
the  author  of  this  article  had  ever  heard  of  Vance's  lecture  at  this  early 
date,  if  indeed  Vance  had  already  written  it. 

41.  "Hebrews,"  in  American  Cyclopaedia,  16  vols.  (New  York,  1873— 
1876),  VIII,  582  ff. 

42.  Dowd,  Zebulon  B.  Vance,  393. 

43.  Ibid.,  396. 

44.  Ibid.,  397. 

45.  Ibid.,  374. 

46.  Ibid.,  393. 

47.  R.  D.  W.  Connor,  "Zebulon  Baird  Vance,"  in  Dictionary  of 
American  Biography,  XIX,  161. 

48.  Edwin  D.  Shurter  (ed.),  Oratory  of  the  South,  From  the  Civil 
War  to  the  Present  Time  (New  York,  1908),  181.  This  eulogy  by 
Charles  W.  Tillett  has  been  reprinted  in  many  places.  If  often  appears 
without  the  paragraph  concerning  the  "Scattered  Nation."  It  is  pos- 
sible that  this  section  was  added  later,  although  the  rest  of  the  eulogy 
was  written  at  the  time  of  Vance's  death.  Dowd,  Zebulon  B.  Vance, 
327-329,  reprinted  Tillett's  eulogy  in  1897  without  this  paragraph. 

49.  Charlotte  Observer,  April  17,  1894. 

50.  The  speech  was  printed,  probably  in  the  newspapers,  at  least 
as  early  as  1878.  A  petition  for  its  delivery  in  Goldsboro,  dated  1878, 
and  found  in  the  Vance  Papers,  mentions  that  many  of  the  petitioners 
had  already  read  the  speech.  Dowd,  Zebulon  B.  Vance,  369—399,  re- 
printed it  in  full  in  1897.  The  first  separately  bound  edition  was  pub- 
lished privately  by  Willis  Bruce  Dowd  in  1904  and  contained  an  intro- 
duction by  the  publisher.  The  1916  edition  was  printed  in  New  York 
with  the  1904  introduction  and  a  foreword  by  M.  Schnitzer.  The  1928 
edition  was  published  in  Raleigh  and  has  an  introduction  by  Rabbi 



Moses  P.  Jacobson,  then  of  Asheville.  It  was  sponsored  by  the  Asheville 
Lodge  of  B'nai  Brith  in  connection  with  the  unveiling  of  the  Vance 
plaque  in  that  city.  At  the  present  writing,  District  Grand  Lodge  Num- 
ber Five,  B'nai  Brith,  is  contemplating  a  fourth  edition. 

51.  Asheville  Citizen,  February  8,  1922. 

52.  Ibid.,  May  13,  1938. 

53.  Tribute  to  Vance  from  an  unidentified  Jewish  social  organiza- 
tion, in  Vance  Papers. 

54.  S.  Gerstmann  to  Vance,  August  7,  1878,  ibid. 

55.  Id.  to  id.,  November  30,  1884,  ibid. 

56.  New  York  Jewish  Messenger,  April  27,  1894. 

57.  Statement  of  D.  Hiden  Ramsey,  general  manager  and  secretary 
of  the  Asheville  Citizen-Times  Company,  Asheville,  N.  C,  to  the  writer, 
July  28,  1939. 

58.  Raleigh  News  and  Observer,  October  15,  1928;  Asheville  Citizen, 
October  14,  15, 1928. 


The  Scattered  Nation" 


The  Scattered  Nation 


j^jr ays  Prof.  Maury:  "There  is 
a  river  in  the  ocean.  In  the  severest  droughts  it  never  fails, 
and  in  the  mightiest  floods  it  never  overflows.  The  Gulf  of 
Mexico  is  its  fountain,  and  its  mouth  is  in  the  Arctic  seas. 
It  is  the  Gulf  Stream.  There  is  in  the  world  no  other  such 
majestic  flow  of  waters.  Its  current  is  more  rapid  than  the 
Mississippi  or  the  Amazon,  and  its  volume  more  than  a 
thousand  times  greater.  Its  waters,  as  far  out  from  the 
Gulf  as  the  Carolina  coasts,  are  of  an  indigo  blue;  they  are 
so  distinctly  marked  that  their  line  of  junction  with  the 
common  sea-water  may  be  traced  by  the  eye.  Often  one- 
half  of  a  vessel  may  be  perceived  floating  in  Gulf  stream 
water,  while  the  other  half  is  in  common  water  of  the  sea, 
so  sharp  is  the  line  and  such  the  want  of  affinity  between 
those  waters,  and  such  too  the  reluctance,  so  to  speak,  on 
the  part  of  those  of  the  Gulf  Stream  to  mingle  with  the 
common  water  of  the  sea." 

This  curious  phenomenon  in  the  physical  world  has  its 
counterpart  in  the  moral.  There  is  a  lonely  river  in  the 
midst  of  the  ocean  of  mankind.  The  mightiest  floods  of 
human  temptation  have  never  caused  it  to  overflow  and  the 
fiercest  fires  of  human  cruelty,  though  seven  times  heated 
in  the  furnace  of  religious  bigotry,  have  never  caused  it 
to  dry  up,  although  its  waves  for  two  thousand  years  have 

.  63  • 


rolled  crimson  with  the  blood  of  its  martyrs.  Its  fountain 
is  in  the  grey  dawn  of  the  world's  history,  and  its  mouth  is 
somewhere  in  the  shadows  of  eternity.  It  too  refuses  to  min- 
gle with  the  surrounding  waves,  and  the  line  which  divides 
its  restless  billows  from  the  common  waters  of  humanity 
is  also  plainly  visible  to  the  eye.  It  is  the  Jewish  race. 

The  Jew  is  beyond  doubt  the  most  remarkable  man  of 
this  world— past  or  present.  Of  all  the  stories  of  the  sons 
of  men,  there  is  none  so  wild,  so  wonderful,  so  full  of  ex- 
treme mutation,  so  replete  with  suffering  and  horror,  so 
abounding  in  extraordinary  providences,  so  overflowing 
with  scenic  romance.  There  is  no  man  who  approaches  him 
in  the  extent  and  character  of  the  influence  which  he  has 
exercised  over  the  human  family.  His  history  is  the  history 
of  our  civilization  and  progress  in  this  world,  and  our  faith 
and  hope  in  that  which  is  to  come.  From  him  have  we  de- 
rived the  form  and  pattern  of  all  that  is  excellent  on  earth 
or  in  heaven.  If,  as  DeQuincey  says,  the  Roman  Emperors, 
as  the  great  accountants  for  the  happiness  of  more  men  and 
men  more  cultivated  than  ever  before,  were  entrusted  to  the 
motions  of  a  single  will,  had  a  special,  singular  and  mys- 
terious relation  to  the  secret  councils  of  heaven— thrice 
truly  may  it  be  said  of  the  Jew.  Palestine,  his  home,  was  the 
central  chamber  of  God's  administration.  He  was  at  once 
the  grand  usher  to  these  glorious  courts,  the  repository  of 
the  councils  of  the  Almighty  and  the  envoy  of  the  divine 
mandates  to  the  consciences  of  men.  He  was  the  priest  and 
faith-giver  to  mankind,  and  as  such,  in  spite  of  the  jibe 
and  jeer,  he  must  ever  be  considered  as  occupying  a  pecu- 
liar and  sacred  relation  to  all  other  peoples  of  this  world. 
Even  now,  though  the  Jews  have  long  since  ceased  to  exist 
as  a  consolidated  nation,  inhabiting  a  common  country, 
and  for  eighteen  hundred  years  have  been  scattered  far  and 
near  over  the  wide  earth,  their  strange  customs,  their  dis- 
tinct features,  personal  peculiarities  and  their  scattered 
unity,  make  them  still  a  wonder  and  an  astonishment. 

.  64  • 

.  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

Though  dead  as  a  nation— as  we  speak  of  nations— they 
yet  live.  Their  ideas  fill  the  world  and  move  the  wheels  of 
its  progress,  even  as  the  sun,  when  he  sinks  behind  the 
Western  hills,  yet  fills  the  heavens  with  the  remnants  of 
his  glory.  As  the  destruction  of  matter  in  one  form  is  made 
necessary  to  its  resurrection  in  another,  so  it  would  seem 
that  the  perishing  of  the  Jewish  nationality  was  in  order 
to  the  universal  acceptance  and  the  everlasting  establish- 
ment of  Jewish  ideas.  Never  before  was  there  an  instance 
of  such  a  general  rejection  of  the  person  and  character,  and 
acceptance  of  the  doctrines  and  dogmas  of  a  people. 

We  admire  with  unlimited  admiration  the  Greek  and 
Roman,  but  reject  with  contempt  his  crude  and  beastly 
divinities.  We  affect  to  despise  the  Jew,  but  accept  and 
adore  the  pure  conception  of  a  God  which  he  taught  us,  and 
whose  real  existence  the  history  of  the  Jew  more  than  all 
else  establishes.  When  the  Court  Chaplain  of  Frederick 
the  Great  was  asked  by  that  bluff  monarch  for  a  brief  and 
concise  summary  of  the  argument  in  support  of  the  truths 
of  Scripture,  he  instantly  replied,  with  a  force  to  which 
nothing  could  be  added,  "The  Jews,  Your  Majesty,  the 

I  propose  briefly  to  glance  at  their  history,  origin  and 
civilization,  peculiarities,  present  condition  and  probable 

"A  people  of  Semitic  race,"  says  the  Encyclopaedia, 
"whose  ancestors  appear  at  the  very  dawn  of  the  history 
of  mankind,  on  the  banks  of  Euphrates,  the  Jordan  and  the 
Nile,  their  fragments  are  now  to  be  seen  in  larger  or  smaller 
numbers,  in  almost  all  of  the  cities  of  the  globe,  from  Ba- 
tavia  to  New  Orleans,  from  Stockholm  to  Cape  Town. 
When  little  more  numerous  than  a  family,  they  had  their 
language,  customs  and  peculiar  observances,  treated  with 
princes  and  in  every  respect  acted  as  a  nation.  Though 
broken,  as  if  into  atoms,  and  scattered  through  all  climes, 
among  the  rudest  and  the  most  civilized  nations,  they  have 

.  65  • 


preserved,  through  thousands  of  years,  common  features 
and  observances,  a  common  religion,  literature  and  sacred 
language.  Without  any  political  union,  without  any  com- 
mon head  or  centre,  they  are  generally  regarded  and  regard 
themselves  as  a  nation.  They  began  as  nomads,  emigrating 
from  country  to  country;  their  law  made  them  agriculturists 
for  fifteen  centuries;  their  exile  transformed  them  into  a 
mercantile  people.  They  have  struggled  for  their  national 
existence  against  the  Egyptians,  Assyrians,  Babylonians, 
Syrians  and  Romans;  have  been  conquered  and  nearly  ex- 
terminated by  each  of  these  powers  and  have  survived  them 
all.  They  have  been  oppressed  and  persecuted  by  Emper- 
ors and  Republics,  by  Sultans  and  by  Popes,  Moors  and 
Inquisitors;  they  were  proscribed  in  Catholic  Spain,  Prot- 
estant Norway  and  Greek  Muscovy,  while  their  persecutors 
sang  the  hymns  of  their  psalmody,  revered  their  books,  be- 
lieved in  their  prophets  and  even  persecuted  them  in  the 
name  of  their  God.  They  have  numbered  philosophers 
among  the  Greeks  of  Alexandria,  and  the  Saracens  of  Cor- 
dova; have  transplanted  the  wisdom  of  the  East  beyond  the 
Pyrenees  and  the  Rhine,  and  have  been  treated  as  pariahs 
among  Pagans,  Mohammedans  and  Christians.  They  have 
fought  for  liberty  under  Kosciusko  and  Blucher,  and  pop- 
ular assemblies  among  the  Sclavi  and  Germans,  still  with- 
held from  them  the  right  of  living  in  certain  towns,  villages 
and  streets." 

Whilst  no  people  can  claim  such  an  unmixed  purity  of 
blood,  certainly  none  can  establish  such  antiquity  of  origin, 
such  unbroken  generations  of  descent.  That  splendid  pas- 
sage of  Macaulay  so  often  quoted,  in  reference  to  the  Ro- 
man Pontiffs,  loses  its  force  in  sight  of  Hebrew  history.  "No 
other  institution,"  says  he,  "is  left  standing  which  carries 
the  mind  back  to  the  times  when  the  smoke  of  sacrifice  rose 
from  the  Pantheon,  and  when  camels,  leopards,  and  tigers 
bounded  in  the  Iberian  amphitheatre.  The  proudest  royal 
houses  are  but  of  yesterday  as  compared  with  the  line  of 

.  66  . 

"the  scattered  nation" • 

the  Supreme  Pontiffs;  that  line  we  trace  back  in  unbroken 
lines,  from  the  Pope  who  crowned  Napoleon  in  the  nine- 
teenth century,  to  the  Pope  who  crowned  Pepin  in  the 
eighth,  and  far  beyond  Pepin,  the  august  dynasty  extends 
until  it  is  lost  in  the  twilight  of  fable.  The  Republic  of 
Venice  came  next  in  antiquity,  but  the  Republic  of  Venice 
is  modern  compared  with  the  Papacy,  and  the  Republic  of 
Venice  is  gone  and  the  Papacy  remains.  The  Catholic 
Church  was  great  and  respected  before  the  Saxon  had  set 
foot  on  Britain,  before  the  Frank  had  passed  the  Rhine, 
when  Grecian  eloquence  still  flourished  at  Antioch,  when 
idols  were  still  worshipped  in  the  Temple  at  Mecca;  and 
she  may  still  exist,  in  undiminished  vigor  when  some  travel- 
ler from  New  Zealand  in  the  midst  of  a  vast  solitude  shall 
take  his  stand  on  a  broken  arch  of  London  Bridge  to  sketch 
the  ruins  of  St.  Paul."  This  is  justly  esteemed  one  of  the 
most  eloquent  passages  in  our  literature,  but  I  submit  it  is 
not  history. 

The  Jewish  people,  church  and  institutions  are  still  left 
standing,  though  the  stones  of  the  temple  remain  no  longer 
one  upon  the  other,  though  its  sacrificial  fires  are  forever 
extinguished;  and  though  the  tribes,  whose  glory  it  was, 
wander  with  weary  feet  throughout  the  earth.  And  what  is 
the  line  of  Roman  Pontiffs  compared  to  that  splendid  dy- 
nasty of  the  successors  of  Aaron  and  Levi?  "The  twilight 
of  fable,"  in  which  the  line  of  Pontiffs  began,  was  but  the 
noonday  brightness  of  the  Jewish  priesthood.  Their  insti- 
tution carries  the  mind  back  to  the  age  when  the  prophet, 
in  rapt  mood,  stood  over  Babylon  and  uttered  God's  wrath 
against  that  grand  and  wondrous  mistress  of  the  Euphra- 
tean  plains— when  the  Memphian  chivalry  still  gave  prec- 
edence to  the  chariots  and  horsemen  who  each  morning 
poured  forth  from  the  brazen  gates  of  the  abode  of  Ammon; 
when  Tyre  and  Sidon  were  yet  building  their  palaces  by  the 
sea,  and  Carthage,  their  greatest  daughter,  was  yet  unborn. 
That  dynasty  of  prophetic  priest  existed  even  before  Clio's 

•  67  • 

•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

pen  had  learned  to  record  the  deeds  of  men;  and  when  that 
splendid,  entombed  civilization  once  lighted  the  shores  of 
the  Erythraean  Sea,  the  banks  of  the  Euphrates  and  the 
plains  of  Shinar,  with  a  glory  inconceivable,  of  which  there 
is  nought  now  to  tell,  except  the  dumb  eloquence  of  ruined 
temples  and  buried  cities. 

Then,  too,  it  must  be  remembered  that  these  Pontiffs 
were  but  Gentiles  in  the  garb  of  Jews,  imitating  their  whole 
routine.  All  Christian  churches  are  but  off-shoots  from  or 
grafts  upon  the  old  Jewish  stock.  Strike  out  all  of  Judaism 
from  the  Christian  church  and  there  remains  nothing  but 
an  unmeaning  superstition. 

The  Christian  is  simply  the  successor  of  the  Jew— the 
glory  of  the  one  is  likewise  the  glory  of  the  other.  The  Sav- 
iour of  the  world  was,  after  the  flesh,  a  Jew— born  of  a 
Jewish  maiden;  so  likewise  were  all  of  the  apostles  and 
first  propagators  of  Christianity.  The  Christian  religion  is 
equally  Jewish  with  that  of  Moses  and  the  prophets. 

I  am  not  unaware  of  the  fact  that  other  people  besides  the 
Semites  had  a  conception  of  the  true  God  long  before  He 
was  revealed  to  Abraham.  The  Hebrew  Scriptures  them- 
selves testify  this,  and  so  likewise  do  the  books  of  the  very 
oldest  of  written  records.  The  fathers  of  the  great  Aryan 
race,  the  shepherds  of  Iran  had  so  vivid  a  conception  of 
the  unity  of  God,  as  to  give  rise  to  the  opinion  that  they 
too  had  once  had  a  direct  revelation.  It  is  more  likely,  how- 
ever, that  traditions  of  this  God  had  descended  among  them 
from  the  Deluge  which  ultimately  became  adulterated  by 
polytheistic  imaginings.  It  seems  natural  that  these  people 
of  highly  sensitive  intellects,  dwelling  beneath  the  serene 
skies,  that  impend  over  the  plains  and  mountains  of  South- 
western Asia,  thickly  studded  with  the  calm  and  glorious 
stars,  should  mistake  these  most  majestic  emblems  of  the 
Creator  for  the  Creator  himself.  Hence  no  doubt,  arose  the 
worship  of  light  and  fire  by  the  Iranians,  and  Sabseanism 
or  star  worship  by  the  Chaldeans.  But  the  better  opinion  of 

•  68  • 

•  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

learned  orientalists  is  that  while  the  outward  or  exoteric 
doctrine  taught  the  worship  of  the  symbols,  the  esoteric  or 
secret  doctrines  of  Zoroaster,  his  predecessors  and  disciples, 
taught  in  fact  the  worship  of  the  Principle,  the  First  Cause, 
the  Great  Unknown,  the  Universal  Intelligence,  Magdam 
or  God.  There  can  be  no  doubt  that  Abraham  brought  this 
monotheistic  conception  with  him  from  Chaldea;  but  not- 
withstanding this  dim  traditional  light,  which  was  abroad 
outside  of  the  race  of  Shem,  perhaps  over  the  entire  breadth 
of  that  splendid  prehistoric  civilization  of  the  Arabian  Cu- 
shite,  yet  for  the  more  perfect  light,  which  revealed  to  us 
God  and  His  attributes,  we  are  unquestionably  indebted  to 
the  Jew. 

We  owe  to  him,  if  not  the  conception,  at  least  the  preser- 
vation of  pure  monotheism.  For  whether  this  knowledge 
was  original  with  these  eastern  people  or  traditional  merely, 
it  was  speedily  lost,  by  all  of  them  except  the  Jews.  Whilst 
an  unintelligent  use  of  symbolism  enveloped  the  central 
figure  with  a  cloud  of  idolatry  and  led  the  Magi  to  the  wor- 
ship of  Light  and  Fire,  the  Sabaean  to  the  adoration  of  the 
heavenly  host,  the  Egyptian  to  bowing  down  before  Isis  and 
Osiris,  the  Carthaginian  to  the  propitiation  of  Baal  and 
Astarte  by  human  sacrifice  and  the  subtle  Greek  to  the  deifi- 
cation of  the  varied  laws  of  Nature;  the  bearded  Prophets  of 
Israel  were  ever  thundering  forth,  "Know  O  Israel,  that  the 
Lord  thy  God  is  one  God,  and  Him  only  shalt  thou  serve." 

Even  his  half-brother  Ishmael,  after  an  idolatrous  sleep 
of  centuries,  awoke  with  a  sharp  and  bloody  protest  against 
Polytheism,  and  established  the  unity  of  God  as  the  corner- 
stone of  his  faith.  In  this  respect  the  influence  which  the  Jew 
has  exercised  over  the  destinies  of  mankind  place  him  before 
all  the  men  of  this  world.  For  in  this  idea  of  God,  all  of  the 
faith  and  creeds  of  the  dominant  peoples  of  the  earth  centre. 
It  divides  like  a  great  mountain  range  the  civilizations  of 
the  ancient  and  modern  worlds.  Many  enlightened  men 
of  antiquity  acknowledged  the  beauty  of  this  conception, 

•  69  . 


though  they  did  not  embrace  it.  Socrates  did  homage  to  it, 
and  Josephus  declares  that  he  derived  his  sublime  ideal 
from  the  Jewish  Scriptures.  The  accomplished  Tacitus 
seemed  to  grasp  it,  as  the  following  passage  will  show.  In 
speaking  of  the  Jews  and  in  contrasting  them  with  the 
Egyptians,  he  says:  "With  regard  to  the  Deity,  their  creed 
is  different.  The  Egyptians  worship  various  animals  and 
also  certain  symbolical  representatives  which  are  the  work 
of  man.  The  Jews  acknowledge  one  God  only,  and  Him  they 
see  in  the  mind's  eye,  and  Him  they  adore  in  contemplation, 
condemning  as  impious  idolaters,  all  who  with  perishable 
materials  wrought  into  the  human  form,  attempt  to  give  a 
representation  of  the  Deity.  The  God  of  the  Jews  is  the 
great  governing  mind  that  directs  and  guides  the  whole 
frame  of  nature— eternal,  infinite  and  neither  capable  of 
change  or  subject  to  decay." 

This  matchless  and  eloquent  definition  of  the  Deity  has 
never  been  improved  upon,  but  it  seems  that  it  made  slight 
impression  upon  the  philosophical  historian's  mind.  And 
yet  what  a  contrast  it  is  with  his  own  coarse,  material  gods! 
Indeed  the  rejection  or  ignorance  of  this  pure  conception 
by  the  acute  and  refined  intellects  of  the  mediaeval  ancients 
strikes  us  with  wonder,  and  illustrates  the  truth,  that  no 
man  by  searching  can  find  out  God.  I  am  not  unaware  that 
the  Arabian  idea  of  Deity  received  many  modifications  from 
the  conceptions  of  adjoining  and  contemporary  nations— 
by  cross-fertilization  of  ideas,  as  the  process  has  been  called. 
From  the  Egyptians  and  Assyrians  were  received  many  of 
these  modifications,  but  the  chief  impression  was  from  the 
Greeks.  The  general  effect  was  to  broaden  and  enlarge  the 
original  idea,  whose  tendency  was  to  regard  the  Supreme 
Being  as  a  tribal  Deity,  into  the  grander,  universal  God,  or 
Father  of  all.  If  time  permitted  it  would  be  a  most  interest- 
ing study  to  trace  the  action  and  reaction  of  Semitic  upon 
Hellenistic  thought.  How  Hellenistic  philosophy  produced 
Pharisaism  or  the  progressive  party  of  the  Hebrew  Theists; 

•  70. 

• "the  scattered  nation" • 

how  Pharisaism  in  turn  produced  Stoicism,  which  again 
prepared  the  way  for  Christianity  itself. 

The  whole  polity  of  the  Jews  was  originally  favorable 
to  agriculture;  and  though  they  adhered  to  it  closely  for 
many  centuries,  yet,  the  peculiar  facilities  of  their  country 
ultimately  forced  them  largely  into  commerce.  The  great 
caravan  routes  from  the  rich  countries  of  the  East,  Mesopo- 
tamia, Shinar,  Babylonia,  Media,  Assyria  and  Persia,  to 
the  ports  of  the  Mediterranean,  lay  through  Palestine, 
whilst  Spain,  Italy,  Gaul,  Asia  Minor,  Northern  Africa, 
Egypt,  and  all  the  riches  that  then  clustered  around  the 
shores  of  the  Great  Sea  and  upon  the  islands  in  its  bosom, 
had  easy  access  to  its  harbors.  In  fact  the  wealth  of  the 
world,  its  civilization,  refinement  and  art  lay  in  concentric 
circles  around  Jerusalem  as  a  focal  point.  The  Jewish  peo- 
ple grew  rich  in  spite  of  themselves  and  gradually  forsook 
their  agricultural  simplicity. 

But  more  than  all  things  else  their  institutions  interest 
mankind.  Their  laws  for  the  protection  of  property,  the 
enforcement  of  industry  and  the  upholding  of  the  state  were 
such  as  afforded  the  strongest  impulse  to  personal  freedom 
and  national  vigor.  The  great  principle  of  their  real  estate 
laws  was  the  inalienability  of  the  land.  Houses  in  walled 
towns  might  be  sold  in  perpetuity,  if  unredeemed  within 
the  year;  land  only  for  a  limited  period.  At  the  year  of 
Jubilee  every  estate  reverted  without  repurchase  to  the 
original  owners,  and  even  during  this  period  it  might  be 
redeemed  by  paying  the  value  of  the  purchase  of  the  year 
which  intervened  until  the  Jubilee.  Little  as  we  may  now 
be  disposed  to  value  this  remarkable  Agrarian  law,  says 
Dean  Milman,  it  secured  the  political  equality  of  the  people 
and  anticipated  all  the  mischiefs  so  fatal  to  the  early  Re- 
publics of  Greece  and  Italy,  the  appropriation  of  the  whole 
territory  of  the  State,  by  a  rich  and  powerful  landed  oli- 
garchy, with  the  consequent  convulsing  of  the  community 
from  the  deadly  struggles  between  the  patrician  and  the 

.  71  - 

•   ZEBULON    B.   VANCE  • 

plebeian  orders.  In  the  Hebrew  state  the  improvident  man 
might  indeed  reduce  himself  and  his  family  to  penury  or 
servitude,  but  he  could  not  perpetuate  a  race  of  slaves  or 
paupers.  Every  fifty  years  God  the  King  and  Lord  of  the 
soil,  as  it  were,  resumed  the  whole  territory  and  granted  it 
back  in  the  same  portions  to  the  descendants  of  the  original 

It  is  curious  to  observe,  continues  the  same  author,  in 
this  earliest  practicable  Utopia,  the  realization  of  Machi- 
avelli's  great  maxim,  the  constant  renovation  of  a  state, 
according  to  the  first  principles  of  its  constitution,  a  maxim 
recognized  by  our  own  statesmen,  which  they  designate 
as  a  "frequent  recurrence  to  the  first  principles."  How  lit- 
tle we  learn  that  is  new.  The  civil  polity  of  the  Jews  is 
so  intimately  blended  historically  with  the  ecclesiastical 
that  the  former  is  not  easily  comprehended  by  the  ordinary 
student.  Their  scriptures  relate  principally  to  the  latter,  and 
to  obtain  a  knowledge  of  the  other,  resort  must  be  had  to 
the  Talmud  and  the  Rabbinical  expositions,  a  task  that  few 
men  will  let  themselves  to,  who  hope  to  do  anything  else 
in  this  world.  Yet  a  little  study  will  repay  richly  the  political 
student,  by  showing  him  the  origin  of  many  excellent  sem- 
inal principles  which  we  regard  as  modern.  Their  govern- 
ment was  in  form  a  theocratic  democracy.  God  was  not  only 
their  spiritual  but  their  temporal  sovereign  also,  who  pro- 
mulgated his  laws  by  the  mouths  of  his  inspired  prophets. 
Hence  their  terrible  and  unflagging  denunciations  of  all 
forms  of  idolatry— it  was  not  only  a  sin  against  pure  re- 
ligion, but  it  was  treason  also.  In  most  other  particulars 
theirs  was  a  democracy  far  purer  than  that  of  Athens.  The 
very  important  principle  of  the  separation  of  the  functions 
of  government  was  recognized.  The  civil  and  ecclesiastical 
departments  were  kept  apart,  the  civil  ruler  exercised  no 
ecclesiastic  functions  and  vice  versa.  When,  as  sometimes 
happened,  the  two  functions  rested  in  the  same  man,  they 
were  yet  exercised  differently,  as  was  not  long  since  our 


.  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

custom  in  the  administration  of  equity  as  contra-distin- 
guished from  law. 

Their  organic  law  containing  the  elements  of  their  polity, 
though  given  by  God  Himself,  was  yet  required  to  be  sol- 
emnly ratified  by  the  whole  people.  This  was  done  on  Ebal 
and  Gerizim  and  is  perhaps  the  first,  as  it  is  certainly  the 
grandest  constitutional  convention  ever  held  among  men. 
On  these  two  lofty  mountains,  separated  by  a  deep  and 
narrow  ravine,  all  Israel,  comprising  three  millions  of  souls, 
were  assembled;  elders,  prophets,  priests,  women  and  chil- 
dren, and  600,000  warriors,  led  by  the  spears  of  Judah 
and  supported  by  the  archers  of  Benjamin.  In  this  mighty 
presence,  surrounded  by  the  sublime  accessions  to  the  gran- 
deur of  the  scene,  the  law  was  read  by  the  Levites  line  by 
line,  item  by  item,  whilst  the  tribes  on  either  height  signi- 
fied their  acceptance  thereof  by  responsive  amens,  which 
pierced  the  heavens.  Of  all  the  great  principles  established 
for  the  happiness  and  good  government  of  our  race,  though 
hallowed  by  the  blood  of  the  bravest  and  the  best,  and  ap- 
proved by  centuries  of  trial,  no  one  had  a  grander  origin,  or 
a  more  glorious  exemplification  than  this  one,  that  all  gov- 
ernments derive  their  just  powers  from  the  consent  of  the 

So  much  for  their  organic  law.  Their  legislation  upon 
the  daily  exigencies  and  development  of  their  society  was 
also  provided  for  on  the  most  radically  democratic  basis, 
with  the  practical  element  of  representation.  The  Sanhed- 
rin  legislated  for  all  ecclesiastical  affairs,  and  had  also 
original  judicial  powers  and  jurisdiction  over  all  offenses 
against  the  religious  law,  and  appellate  jurisdiction  of  many 
other  offenses.  It  was  the  principal  body  of  their  polity,  as 
religion  was  the  principal  object  of  their  constitution.  It 
was  thoroughly  representative.  Local  and  municipal  gov- 
ernment was  fully  recognized.  The  legislation  for  a  city 
was  done  by  the  elders  thereof,  the  prototypes  in  name  and 
character  of  our  eldermen  or  aldermen. 

.  73  • 


They  were  the  keystone  of  the  whole  social  fabric,  and  so 
directly  represented  the  people,  that  the  terms  "elders"  and 
"people"  are  often  used  as  synonymous.  The  legislation  for 
a  tribe  was  done  by  the  princes  of  that  tribe,  and  the  heads 
of  families  thereof;  whilst  the  elders  of  all  the  cities,  heads 
of  all  the  families  and  princes  of  all  the  tribes  when  assem- 
bled, constituted  the  National  Legislature,  or  congregation. 
The  functions  of  this  representative  body,  however,  were 
gradually  usurped  and  absorbed  by  the  Sanhedrin. 

So  thoroughly  recognized  was  the  principle  of  represen- 
tation that  no  man  exercised  any  political  rights  in  his  indi- 
vidual capacity,  but  only  as  a  member  of  the  house,  which 
was  the  basis  of  the  Hebrew  polity.  The  ascending  scale 
was  the  family  or  collection  of  houses,  the  tribe  or  collec- 
tion of  families  and  the  congregation  or  collection  of  tribes. 

The  Kingdom  thus  composed  was  in  fact  a  confederation, 
and  exemplified  both  its  strength  and  its  weakness.  The 
tribes  were  equal  and  sovereign  within  the  sphere  of  their 
individual  concerns.  A  tribe  could  convene  its  own  legisla- 
tive body  at  pleasure;  so  could  any  number  of  tribes  con- 
vene a  joint  body  whose  enactments  were  binding  only 
upon  the  tribes  represented  therein.  A  single  tribe  or  any 
number  combined  could  make  treaties,  form  alliances  and 
wage  war,  whilst  the  others  remained  at  peace  with  the 
enemy  of  their  brethren.  They  were  to  all  intents  and  pur- 
poses independent  States,  joined  together  for  common  ob- 
jects on  the  principle  of  federal  republics,  with  a  general 
government  of  delegated  and  limited  powers.  Within  their 
tribal  boundaries  their  sovereignty  was  absolute  minus  only 
the  powers  granted  to  the  central  agent.  They  elected  their 
chiefs,  generals  and  kings.  Next  to  the  imperative  necessity 
of  common  defense  their  bond  of  union  was  their  divine 
constitution,  one  religion  and  one  blood.  Justice  was  made 
simple  and  was  administered  cheaply.  Among  no  people  in 
this  world  did  the  law  so  recognize  the  dignity  and  sacred 

•  74. 

. "the  scattered  nation" • 

nature  of  man  made  in  the  image  of  God  and  the  creature 
of  his  especial  covenanting  care. 

The  constitution  of  their  criminal  courts  and  their  code 
of  criminal  laws  was  most  remarkable.  The  researches  of 
the  learned  have  failed  to  discover  in  all  antiquity  anything 
so  explicit,  so  humane,  and  embracing  so  many  of  what  are 
now  considered  the  essential  elements  of  enlightened  juris- 
prudence. Only  four  offenses  were  punished  by  death.  By 
English  law,  no  longer  ago  than  the  reign  of  George  I, 
more  than  150  offenses  were  so  punishable!  The  court  for 
the  trial  of  these  capital  offenders  was  the  local  Sanhedrin, 
composed  of  twenty-three  members,  who  were  both  judges 
and  jurors,  prosecuting  attorneys  and  counsel  for  the  ac- 

The  tests  applied  both  to  them,  and  the  accusing  wit- 
nesses, as  to  capacity  and  impartiality,  were  more  rigid 
than  those  known  to  exist  anywhere  else  in  the  world.  The 
whole  procedure  was  so  guarded  as  to  convey  the  idea  that 
the  first  object  was  to  save  the  criminal. 

From  the  first  step  of  the  accusation  to  the  last  moment 
preceding  final  execution,  no  caution  was  neglected,  no 
solemnity  was  omitted,  that  might  aid  the  prisoner's  ac- 
quittal. No  man  in  any  way  interested  in  the  result,  no 
gamester  of  any  kind,  no  usurer,  no  store  dealer,  no  relative 
of  accused  or  accuser,  no  seducer  or  adulterer,  no  man  with- 
out a  fixed  trade  or  business,  could  sit  on  that  court.  Nor 
could  any  aged  man  whose  infirmities  might  make  him 
harsh,  nor  any  childless  man  or  bastard,  as  being  insensible 
to  the  relations  of  parent  and  child. 

Throughout  the  whole  system  of  the  Jewish  government 
there  ran  a  broad,  genuine  and  refreshing  stream  of  de- 
mocracy, such  as  the  world  then  knew  little  of,  and  has  since 
but  little  improved.  For  of  course  the  political  student  will 
not  be  deceived  by  names.  It  matters  not  what  their  chief 
magistrates  and  legislators  were  called,  if  in  fact  and  in 

•  75. 


substance,  their  forms  were  eminently  democratic.  Masters 
of  political  philosophy  tell  us— and  tell  us  with  truth— that 
power  in  a  State  must  and  will  reside  with  those  who  own 
the  soil.  If  the  land  belongs  to  a  king  the  government  is  a 
despotism,  though  every  man  in  it  voted;  if  the  land  be- 
longs to  a  select  few,  it  is  an  aristocracy:  but  if  it  belongs 
to  the  many,  it  is  a  democracy,  for  here  is  the  division  of 
power.  Now,  where,  either  in  the  ancient  or  modern  world, 
will  you  find  such  a  democracy  as  that  of  Israel?  For  where 
was  there  ever  such  a  perfect  and  continuing  division  of  the 
land  among  the  people?  It  was  impossible  for  this  power 
ever  to  be  concentrated  in  the  hands  of  one  or  a  select  few. 
The  lands  belonged  to  God  as  the  head  of  the  Jewish  nation 
—the  right  of  eminent  domain,  so  to  speak,  was  in  Him— 
and  the  people  were  His  tenants. 

The  year  of  Jubilee,  as  we  have  seen,  came  ever  in  time 
to  blast  the  schemes  of  the  ambitious  and  designing. 

Their  law  provided  for  no  standing  army,  the  common 
defense  was  entrusted  to  the  patriotism  of  the  people,  who 
kept  and  bore  arms  at  will,  and  believing  that  their  hills 
and  valleys  would  be  best  defended  by  footmen,  the  use  of 
cavalry  was  forbidden,  lest  it  should  tend  to  feed  the  pas- 
sion for  foreign  conquest. 

The  ecclesiastical  Sanhedrin  as  before  observed,  was  the 
principal  body  of  their  polity.  Its  members  were  composed 
of  the  wisest  and  most  learned  of  their  people,  who  ex- 
pounded and  enforced  the  law  and  supervised  all  the  in- 
ferior courts.  This  exposition  upon  actual  cases  arising  did 
not  suffice  the  learned  doctors,  who  made  the  great  mistake 
which  modern  courts  have  learned  to  avoid,  of  uttering 
their  dicta  in  anticipated  cases.  These  decisions  and  dicta 
constitute  the  ground  work  of  the  Talmuds,  of  which  there 
are  two  copies  extant.  They  constitute  the  most  remarkable 
collection  of  oriental  wisdom,  abstruse  learning,  piety,  blas- 
phemy and  obscenity  ever  got  together  in  the  world;  and 
bear  the  same  relation  to  the  Jewish  law,  which  our  judicial 

•  76. 

.  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

decisions  do  to  our  statute  law.  Could  they  be  disentombed 
from  the  mass  of  rubbish  by  which  they  are  covered— said 
to  be  so  great  as  to  deter  all  students  who  are  not  willing 
to  devote  a  life-time  to  the  task,  from  entering  upon  their 
study— they  would  no  doubt  be  of  inestimable  value  to  the- 
ologians, by  furnishing  all  the  aids  which  contemporaneous 
construction  must  ever  impart. 

Time  would  not  permit  me  if  I  had  the  power,  to  describe 
the  chief  city  of  the  Jews,  their  religious  and  political  cap- 
ital—"Jerusalem  the  Holy"— "the  dwelling  of  peace."  In 
the  days  of  Jewish  prosperity  it  was  in  all  things  a  fair  type 
of  this  strange  country  and  people.  Enthroned  upon  the  hills 
of  Judah,  overflowing  with  riches,  the  free-will  offerings 
of  a  devoted  people— decked  with  the  barbaric  splendor  of 
eastern  taste,  it  was  the  rival  in  power  and  wondrous  beauty 
of  the  most  magnificent  cities  of  antiquity.  Nearly  every  one 
of  her  great  competitors  has  mouldered  into  dust.  The  bat 
and  the  owl  inhabit  their  towers,  and  the  fox  litters  her 
young  in  the  corridors  of  their  palaces,  but  Jerusalem  still 
sits  in  solitary  grandeur  upon  the  lovely  hills,  and  though 
faded,  feeble  and  ruinous  still  towers  in  moral  splendor 
above  all  the  spires  and  domes  and  pinnacles  ever  erected 
by  human  hands.  Nor  can  I  dwell,  tempting  as  is  the  theme, 
upon  the  scenery,  the  glowing  landscapes,  the  cultivated 
fields,  gardens  and  vineyards  and  gurgling  fountains  of 
that  pleasant  land.  Many  high  summits  and  even  one  of 
the  towers  in  the  walls  of  the  city  of  Jerusalem  were  said  to 
have  afforded  a  perfect  view  of  the  whole  land  from  border 
to  border.  I  must  be  content  with  asking  you  to  imagine 
what  a  divine  prospect  would  burst  upon  the  vision  from 
the  summit  of  that  stately  tower;  and  picture  the  burning 
sands  of  the  desert  far  beyond  the  mysterious  waters  of  the 
Dead  Sea  on  the  one  hand,  and  the  shining  waves  of  the 
great  sea  on  the  other,  flecked  with  the  white  sails  of  the 
Tyrian  ships,  whilst  hoary  Lebanon,  crowned  with  its  dia- 
dem of  perpetual  snow  glittered  in  the  morning  light  like 

•  77. 


a  dome  of  fire  tempered  with  the  emerald  of  its  cedar— a 
fillet  of  glory  around  its  brow.  The  beauty  of  that  band  of 
God's  people,  the  charm  of  their  songs,  the  comeliness  of 
their  maidens,  the  celestial  peace  of  their  homes,  the  ro- 
mance of  their  national  history,  and  the  sublimity  of  their 
faith,  so  entice  me,  that  I  would  not  know  when  to  cease, 
should  I  once  enter  upon  their  story.  I  must  leave  behind, 
too,  the  blood-stained  record  of  their  last  great  siege,  illus- 
trated by  their  splendid  but  unavailing  courage;  their  fatal 
dissensions  and  final  destruction,  with  all  its  incredible 
horrors;  of  their  exile  and  slavery,  of  their  dispersion  in  all 
lands  and  kingdoms,  of  their  persecutions,  sufferings,  wan- 
derings and  despair,  for  eighteen  hundred  years.  Indeed, 
it  is  a  story  that  puts  to  shame  not  only  our  Christianity, 
but  our  common  humanity.  It  staggers  belief  to  be  told, 
not  only  that  such  things  could  be  done  at  all,  by  blinded 
heathen  or  ferocious  Pagan,  but  done  by  Christian  people 
and  in  the  name  of  Him,  the  meek  and  lowly,  who  was 
called  the  Prince  of  Peace,  and  the  harbinger  of  good  will 
to  men.  Still  it  is  an  instructive  story;  it  seems  to  mark  in 
colors  never  to  be  forgotten,  both  the  wickedness  and  the 
folly  of  intolerance.  Truly,  it  serves  to  show  that  the  wrath 
of  a  religious  bigot  is  more  fearful  and  ingenious  than  the 
crudest  of  tortures  hatched  in  the  councils  of  hell.  It  is  not 
my  purpose  to  comment  upon  the  religion  of  the  Jews,  nor 
shall  I  undertake  to  say  that  they  gave  no  cause  in  the  ear- 
lier ages  of  Christianity  for  the  hatred  of  their  opponents. 
Undoubtedly  they  gave  much  cause,  and  exhibited  them- 
selves much  bitterness  and  ferocity  towards  the  followers 
of  the  Nazarene;  which  however,  it  may  be  an  excuse,  is 
far  from  being  a  justification  of  the  centuries  of  horror 
which  followed.  But  if  constancy,  faithfulness  and  devotion 
to  principle  under  the  most  trying  circumstances  to  which 
the  children  of  men  were  ever  subjected,  be  considered  vir- 
tues, then  indeed  are  the  Jews  to  be  admired.  They  may 
safely  defy  the  rest  of  mankind  to  show  such  undying  ad- 

•  78  • 

. "the  scattered  nation" • 

herence  to  accepted  faith,  such  wholesale  sacrifice  for  con- 
science sake.  For  it  they  have  in  all  ages  given  up  home  and 
country,  wives  and  children,  gold  and  goods,  ease  and  shel- 
ter and  life;  for  it  they  endured  all  the  evils  of  an  infernal 
wrath  for  eighteen  centuries;  for  it  they  have  endured,  and 
—say  what  you  will— endured  with  an  inexpressible  man- 
hood that  which  no  other  portion  of  the  human  family  ever 
have,  or,  in  my  opinion,  ever  would  have  endured.  For  sixty 
generations  the  heritage  which  the  father  left  the  son  was 
misery,  suffering,  shame  and  despair;  and  that  son  pre- 
served and  handed  down  to  his  son,  that  black  heritage  as 
a  golden  heir-loom,  for  the  sake  of  God. 

A  few  remarks  upon  their  numbers  and  present  status 
in  the  world,  their  peculiarities  and  probable  destiny  and 
my  task  will  be  done. 

Originally,  as  we  have  seen,  the  Jews  were  an  agricul- 
tural people,  and  their  civil  polity  was  framed  specially  for 
this  state  of  things.  Indeed  the  race  of  Shem  originally 
seemed  not  to  have  been  endowed  with  the  great  commer- 
cial instincts  which  characterize  the  descendants  of  Ham 
and  Japheth.  Their  cities  for  the  most  part,  were  built  in 
the  interior,  remote  from  the  channels  of  trade,  whilst  the 
race  of  Ham  and  Japheth  built  upon  the  sea  shore,  and  the 
banks  of  great  rivers.  But  the  exile  of  the  Jews  converted 
them  necessarily  into  merchants.  Denied  as  a  general  rule 
citizenship  in  the  land  of  their  refuge,  subject  at  any  mo- 
ment to  spoliation  and  expulsion,  their  only  sure  means  of 
living  was  in  traffic,  in  which  they  soon  became  skilled  on 
the  principles  of  a  specialty  in  labor. 

They  naturally,  therefore,  followed  in  their  dispersion, 
as  they  have  ever  since  done,  the  great  channels  of  com- 
merce throughout  the  world,  with  such  deflections  here  and 
there  as  persecution  rendered  necessary.  But  notwithstand- 
ing the  many  impulses  to  which  their  wanderings  have  been 
subjected,  they  have  in  the  main  obeyed  the  general  laws 
of  migration  by  moving  east  and  west  upon  nearly  the  same 


•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

parallels  of  latitude.  Their  numbers  in  spite  of  losses  by 
all  causes,  including  religious  defection,  which,  everything 
considered,  has  been  remarkably  small,  have  steadily  in- 
creased and  are  now  variously  estimated  at  seven  to  nine 
millions.  They  may  be  divided,  says  Dr.  Pressell,  into  three 
great  classes,  the  enumeration  of  which  will  show  their 
wonderful  dispersion.  The  first  of  these  inhabit  the  interior 
of  Africa,  Arabia,  India,  China,  Turkestan  and  Bokhara. 
Even  the  Arabs,  Mr.  Disraeli  terms  Jews  upon  horseback; 
they  are  however,  the  sons  of  Ishmael— half-brothers  to  the 
Jews.  These  are  the  lowest  of  the  Jewish  people  in  wealth, 
intelligence  and  religion,  though  said  to  be  superior  to  their 
Gentile  neighbors  in  each.  The  second  and  most  numerous 
class  is  found  in  Northern  Africa,  Egypt,  Palestine,  Syria, 
Mesopotamia,  Persia,  Asia  Minor,  European  Turkey,  Po- 
land, Russia  and  parts  of  Austria.  In  these  are  found  the 
strictly  orthodox,  Talmudical  Jews;  the  sect  Chasidim,  who 
are  the  representatives  of  the  Zealots  of  Josephus,  and  the 
small  but  most  interesting  sect  Karaites,  who  reject  all  Rab- 
binical traditions,  and  are  the  only  Jews  who  adhere  to  the 
strict  letter  of  the  Scriptures.  This  class  is  represented  as 
being  very  ignorant  of  all  except  Jewish  learning— it  being 
prohibited  to  study  any  other.  Yet  they  alone  are  regarded 
by  scholars  as  the  proper  expounders  of  ancient  Talmudical 
Judaism.  As  might  be  inferred  from  the  character  of  the 
governments  under  which  they  live,  their  political  condi- 
tion is  most  unhappy  and  insecure,  and  their  increase  in 
wealth  and  their  social  progress  are  slow.  The  third  and 
last  class  are  those  of  Central  and  Western  Europe,  and 
the  United  States.  These  are  by  far  the  most  intelligent  and 
civilized  of  their  race,  not  only  keeping  pace  with  the  prog- 
ress of  their  Gentile  neighbors,  but  contributing  to  it 
largely.  Their  Oriental  mysticism  seems  to  have  given 
place  to  the  stronger  practical  ideas  of  Western  Europe, 
with  which  they  have  come  in  contact,  and  they  have  em- 


. "the  scattered  nation" • 

braced  them  fully.  They  are  denominated  "reforming"  in 
their  tenets,  attempting  to  eliminate  the  Talmudical  tradi- 
tions which  cumber  and  obscure  their  creed,  and  adapt  it 
somewhat  to  the  spirit  of  the  age,  though  in  tearing  this 
away,  they  have  also,  say  the  theologians,  dispensed  with 
much  of  the  Old  Testament  itself.  In  fact,  they  have  become 
simply  Unitarians  or  Deists. 

Many  curious  facts  concerning  them  are  worthy  to  be 
noted.  In  various  cities  of  the  Eastern  World  they  have 
been  for  ages,  and  in  some  are  yet,  huddled  into  crowded 
and  filthy  streets  or  quarters,  in  a  manner  violative  of  all 
the  rules  of  health,  yet  it  is  a  notorious  fact  that  they  have 
ever  suffered  less  from  pestilential  diseases  than  their  Chris- 
tian neighbors.  So  often  have  the  black  wings  of  epidemic 
plagues  passed  over  them,  and  smitten  all  around  them, 
that  ignorance  and  malignity  frequently  accused  them  of 
poisoning  the  wells  and  fountains  and  of  exercising  sorcery. 

They  have  also  in  a  very  noticeable  degree  been  exempt 
from  consumption  and  all  diseases  of  the  respiratory  func- 
tions, which  in  them  are  said  by  physicians  to  be  wonder- 
fully adapted  to  enduring  the  vicissitudes  of  all  temper- 
atures and  climates.  The  average  duration  of  Gentile  life 
is  computed  at  26  years— it  certainly  does  not  reach  30; 
that  of  the  Jew,  according  to  a  most  interesting  table  of 
statistics  which  I  have  seen,  is  full  37  years.  The  number 
of  infants  born  to  the  married  couple  exceeds  that  to  the 
Gentile  races,  and  the  number  dying  in  infancy  is  much 
smaller.  In  height  they  are  nearly  three  inches  lower  than 
the  average  of  other  races;  the  width  of  their  bodies  with 
outstretched  arms  is  one  inch  shorter  than  the  height,  whilst 
in  other  races  it  is  eight  inches  longer  on  the  average.  But 
on  the  other  hand,  the  length  of  the  trunk  is  much  greater 
with  the  Jew,  in  proportion  to  height  than  with  other  races. 
In  the  Negro  the  trunk  constitutes  32  per  cent  of  the  height 
of  the  whole  body,  in  the  European  34  per  cent,  in  the  Jew 

•  81  . 

•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

36  per  cent.  What  these  physical  peculiarities  have  had  to 
do  with  their  wonderful  preservation  and  steady  increase,  I 
leave  for  the  philosophers  to  explain. 

Their  social  life  is,  if  possible,  still  more  remarkable. 
There  is  neither  prostitution  nor  pauperism,  and  but  little 
abject  poverty  among  them.  They  have  some  paupers,  it  is 
true  but  they  trouble  neither  you  nor  me.  Crime  in  the  ma- 
lignant, wilful  sense  of  that  word  is  exceedingly  rare.  I  have 
never  known  but  one  Jew  convicted  of  any  offense  beyond 
the  grade  of  a  misdemeanor,  though  I  am  free  to  say,  I 
have  known  many  a  one  who  would  have  been  improved  by 
a  little  hanging.  They  contribute  liberally  to  all  Gentile 
charities  in  the  communities  where  they  live;  they  ask 
nothing  from  the  Gentiles  for  their  own.  If  a  Jew  is  broken 
down  in  business,  the  others  set  him  up  again  or  give  him 
employment  and  his  children  have  bread.  If  one  is  in  trou- 
ble the  others  stand  by  him  with  counsel  and  material  aid, 
remembering  the  command,  "Thou  shalt  open  thine  hand 
wide  unto  thy  brethren,  and  shall  surely  lend  him  sufficient 
for  his  need,  in  that  which  he  wanteth."  Their  average  edu- 
cation is  far  ahead  of  the  races  by  whom  they  are  sur- 
rounded. I  have  never  seen  an  adult  Jew  who  could  not 
read,  write  and  compute  figures— especially  the  figures.  Of 
the  four  great  human  industries  which  conduce  to  the  pub- 
lic wealth,  agriculture,  manufacturing,  mining  and  com- 
merce, as  a  general  rule  they  engage  only  in  one.  They  are 
neither  farmers,  miners,  smiths,  carpenters,  mechanics  or 
artisans  of  any  kind.  They  are  merchants  only,  but  as  such, 
own  few  or  no  ships,  and  they  are  rarely  carriers  of  any 
kind.  They  wander  over  the  whole  earth,  but  they  are  never 
pioneers,  and  they  found  no  colonies,  because  as  I  suppose, 
being  devoted  to  one  business  only,  they  lack  the  self-sus- 
taining elements  of  those  who  build  new  states;  and  whilst 
they  engage  individually  in  politics  where  they  are  not  dis- 
franchised, and  contend  for  offices  and  honors  like  other 
people,  they  yet  seek  nowhere  political  power  or  national 


.  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

aggregation.  Dealers  in  every  kind  of  merchandise,  with 
rare  exceptions  they  manufacture  none.  They  dwell  exclu- 
sively in  towns,  cities  and  villages,  but  as  a  general  rule 
do  not  own  the  property  they  live  upon.  They  marry  within 
themselves  entirely,  and  yet  in  defiance  of  well  known  nat- 
ural laws,  with  regard  to  breeding  "in  and  in,"  their  race 
does  not  degenerate.  With  them  family  government  is  per- 
haps more  supreme  than  with  any  other  people.  Divorce, 
domestic  discord,  and  disobedience  to  parents  are  almost 
unknown  among  them. 

The  process  by  which  they  have  become  the  leading 
merchants,  bankers,  and  financiers  of  the  world  is  explained 
by  their  history.  In  many  places  their  children  were  not 
permitted  to  enter  the  schools,  or  even  to  be  enrolled  in  the 
guilds  of  labor.  Trade  was  therefore  the  only  avenue  left 
open  to  them.  In  most  countries  they  dared  not  or  could 
not  own  the  soil.  Why  a  nation  of  original  agriculturists 
ceased  to  cultivate  the  soil  altogether  is  therefore  only  seem- 
ingly inexplicable.  All  nations  must  have  a  certain  propor- 
tion of  their  population  engaged  in  tilling  the  soil;  as  the 
Jews  have  no  common  country  they  reside  in  all;  and  in 
all  countries  they  have  the  shrewdness  to  see  that  whilst  it 
is  most  honorable  to  plow,  yet  all  men  live  more  comfortably 
than  the  plowman.  In  addition  to  which,  as  before  inti- 
mated, agriculture  so  fixed  them  to  the  soil  that  it  would 
have  been  impossible  to  evade  persecution  and  spoliation. 
They  were  constantly  on  the  move,  and  their  wealth  must 
therefore  be  portable  and  easily  secreted— hence  their  early 
celebrity  as  lapidaries,  dealers  in  diamonds  and  precious 
stones— and  hence  too,  their  introduction  of  bills  of  ex- 
change. The  utility  of  these  great  aids  to  commerce  had 
long  been  known  to  the  world— perhaps  by  both  Greek  and 
Roman— but  could  never  be  made  available  by  them,  be- 
cause confidence  in  the  integrity  of  each  other  did  not  exist 
between  the  drawer  and  the  drawee.  But  this  integrity, 
which  the  lordly  merchants  of  the  Christian  and  the  Pagan 

•  83  • 


world  could  not  inspire,  was  found  to  exist  in  the  persecuted 
and  despised  Jew.  So  much  for  the  lessons  of  adversity. 
These  arts  diligently  applied,  at  first  from  necessity,  after- 
wards from  choice,  in  the  course  of  centuries  made  the  Jews 
skillful  above  all  men  in  the  ways  of  merchandise  and 
money  changing,  and  finally  developed  in  them  those  pecu- 
liar faculties  and  aptitudes  for  a  calling  which  are  brought 
out  as  well  in  man  by  the  special  education  of  successive 
generations,  as  in  the  lower  animals.  The  Jew  merchant 
had  this  advantage,  too,  that  whereas  his  Gentile  competitor 
belonged  to  a  consolidated  nation,  confined  to  certain  geo- 
graphical limits,  speaking  a  certain  tongue,  the  aid,  sym- 
pathy and  influence  which  he  derived  from  social  and  po- 
litical ties,  were  also  confined  to  the  limits  of  his  nation. 
But  the  Jew  merchant  belonged  to  a  scattered  nation,  spread 
out  over  the  whole  earth,  speaking  many  tongues,  and 
welded  together,  not  by  social  ties  alone,  but  by  the  fierce 
fires  of  suffering  and  persecution;  and  the  aid,  sympathy, 
influence  and  information  which  he  derived  therefrom  came 
out  of  the  utmost  parts  of  the  earth. 

When  after  many  centuries  the  flames  of  persecution  had 
abated  so  that  the  Jews  were  permitted  more  than  bare  life, 
their  industry,  energy  and  talent  soon  placed  them  among 
the  important  motive  powers  of  the  world.  They  entered 
the  fields  of  commerce  in  its  grandest  and  most  colossal 
operations.  They  became  the  friends  and  counselors  of 
kings,  the  prime-ministers  of  empires,  the  treasurers  of 
republics,  the  movers  of  armies,  the  arbiters  of  public  credit, 
the  patrons  of  art,  and  the  critics  of  literature.  We  do  not 
forget  the  time  in  the  near  past  when  the  peace  of  Europe 
—of  three  worlds  hung  upon  the  Jewish  Prime-Minister  of 
England.  No  people  are  so  ready  to  accommodate  them- 
selves to  circumstances.  It  was  but  recently  that  we  heard  of 
an  English  Jew  taking  an  absolute  lease  of  the  ancient 
Persian  Empire.  The  single  family  of  Rothschild,  the  prog- 
eny of  a  poor  German  Jew,  who  three  generations  ago  sold 


.  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

curious  old  coins  under  the  sign  of  a  red  shield,  are  now 
the  possessors  of  greater  wealth  and  power  than  was  Sol- 
omon, when  he  could  send  1,300,000  fighting  men  into  the 

Twenty  years  ago,  when  this  family  was  in  the  height 
of  its  power,  perhaps  no  sovereign  in  Europe  could  have 
waged  a  successful  war  against  its  united  will.  Two  cen- 
turies since  the  ancestors  of  these  Jewish  money-kings 
were  skulking  in  the  caverns  of  the  earth  or  hiding  in  the 
squalid  outskirts  of  persecuting  cities.  Nor  let  it  be  sup- 
posed that  it  is  in  this  field  alone  we  see  the  great  effects 
of  Jewish  intellect  and  energy.  The  genius  which  showed 
itself  capable  of  controlling  the  financial  affairs  of  the  world, 
necessarily  carried  with  it  other  great  powers  and  capabil- 
ities. The  Jews  in  fact,  under  most  adverse  circumstances, 
made  their  mark— a  high  and  noble  mark— in  every  other 
department  of  human  affairs.  Christian  clergymen  have  sat 
at  the  feet  of  their  Rabbis  to  be  taught  the  mystic  learning 
of  the  East;  Senates  have  been  enrapt  by  the  eloquence  of 
Jewish  orators;  courts  have  been  convinced  by  the  acumen 
and  learning  of  Jewish  lawyers;  vast  throngs  excited  to  the 
wildest  enthusiasm  by  Jewish  histrionic  and  aesthetic  art; 
Jewish  science  has  helped  to  number  the  stars  in  their 
courses,  to  loose  the  bands  of  Orion  and  to  guide  Arcturus 
with  his  sons. 

Jewish  literature  has  delighted  and  instructed  all  classes 
of  mankind  and  the  world  has  listened  with  rapture  and 
with  tears  to  Jewish  melody  and  song.  For  never  since  its 
spirit  was  evoked  under  the  shadow  of  the  vines  on  the 
hills  of  Palestine  to  soothe  the  melancholy  of  her  King,  has 
Judah's  harp,  whether  in  freedom  or  captivity,  in  sorrow  or 
joy,  ceased  to  wake  the  witchery  of  its  tuneful  strings. 

Time  forbids  that  I  should  even  name  the  greatest  of 
those  who  have  distinguished  themselves  and  made  good 
their  claim  to  rank  with  the  foremost  of  earth.  No  section 
of  the  human  family  can  boast  a  greater  list  of  men  and 


•  ZEBULON    B.   VANCE  • 

women  entitled  to  be  placed  among  the  true  children  of 
genius— going  to  make  up  the  primacy  of  our  race— in  every 
branch  of  human  affairs,  in  every  phase  of  human  civiliza- 
tion. Mr.  Draper  says  that  for  four  hundred  years  of  the 
middle  ages— ages  more  dark  and  terrible  to  them  than  to 
any  others,  they  took  the  most  philosophical  and  compre- 
hensive view  of  things  of  all  European  people. 

On  the  whole,  and  after  due  deliberation,  I  think  it  may 
be  truthfully  said,  that  there  is  more  of  average  wealth, 
intelligence,  and  morality  among  the  Jewish  people  than 
there  is  among  any  other  nation  of  equal  numbers  in  the 
world!  If  this  be  true— if  it  be  half  true— when  we  consider 
the  circumstances  under  which  it  has  all  been  brought 
about,  it  constitutes  in  the  eyes  of  thinking  men  the  most 
remarkable  moral  phenomenon  ever  exhibited  by  any  por- 
tion of  the  human  family.  For  not  only  has  the  world  given 
the  Jew  no  help,  but  all  that  he  is,  he  has  made  himself  in 
spite  of  the  world— in  spite  of  its  bitter  cruelty,  its  scorn 
and  unspeakable  tyranny.  The  most  he  has  ever  asked, 
certainly  the  most  he  has  ever  received,  and  that  but  rarely, 
was  to  be  left  alone.  To  escape  the  sword,  the  rack,  the  fire, 
and  utter  spoiling  of  his  goods,  has  indeed,  for  centuries, 
been  to  him  a  blessed  heritage,  as  the  shadow  of  a  great 
rock  in  a  weary  land. 

The  physical  persecution  of  the  Jews  has  measurably 
ceased  among  all  nations  of  the  highest  civilization.  There 
is  no  longer  any  proscription  left  upon  their  political  rights 
in  any  land  where  the  English  tongue  is  spoken.  I  am  proud 
of  the  fact.  But  there  remains  among  us  an  unreasonable 
prejudice  of  which  I  am  heartily  ashamed.  Our  toleration 
will  not  be  complete  until  we  put  it  away  also,  as  well  as 
the  old  implements  of  physical  torture. 

This  age,  and  these  United  States  in  particular,  so  boast- 
ful of  toleration,  presents  some  curious  evidences  of  the 
fact  that  the  old  spirit  is  not  dead;  evidences  tending  much 
to  show  that  the  prejudices  of  2000  years  ago  are  still  with 

•  86- 

.  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

us.  In  Germany,  a  land  more  than  all  others  indebted  to  the 
genius  and  loyal  energy  of  the  Jews,  a  vast  uprising  against 
them  was  lately  excited  for  the  sole  reason,  so  far  as  one 
can  judge,  that  they  occupy  too  many  places  of  learning 
and  honor,  and  are  becoming  too  rich! 

In  this,  our  own  free  and  tolerant  land,  where  wars  have 
been  waged  and  constitutions  violated  for  the  benefit  of 
the  African  negro,  the  descendants  of  barbarian  tribes  who 
for  4000  years  have  contributed  nothing  to,  though  in  close 
contact  with  the  civilization  of  mankind,  save  as  the  Helots 
contributed  an  example  to  the  Spartan  youth,  and  where 
laws  and  partisan  courts  alike  have  been  used  to  force  him 
into  an  equality  with  those  whom  he  could  not  equal,  we 
have  seen  Jews,  educated  and  respectable  men,  descendants 
of  those  from  whom  we  derive  our  civilization,  kinsmen, 
after  the  flesh,  of  Him  whom  we  esteem  as  the  Son  of  God 
and  Saviour  of  men,  ignominiously  ejected  from  hotels  and 
watering  places  as  unworthy  the  association  of  men  who 
had  grown  rich  by  the  sale  of  a  new  brand  of  soap  or  an 
improved  patent  rat-trap! 

I  have  never  heard  of  one  of  these  indecent  thrusts  at  the 
Jews  without  thinking  of  the  dying  words  of  Sergeant  Both- 
well  when  he  saw  his  life's  current  dripping  from  the  sword 
of  Burley:  "Base  peasant  churl,  thou  hast  spilt  the  blood 
of  a  line  of  Kings." 

Let  us  learn  to  judge  the  Jew  as  we  judge  other  men— 
by  his  merits.  And  above  all,  let  us  cease  the  abominable 
injustice  of  holding  the  class  responsible  for  the  sins  of  the 
individual.  We  apply  this  test  to  no  other  people. 

Our  principal  excuse  for  disliking  him  now  is  that  we 
have  injured  him.  The  true  gentleman,  Jew  or  Gentile,  will 
always  recognize  the  true  gentleman,  Jew  or  Gentile,  and 
will  refuse  to  consort  with  an  ill-bred  impostor,  Jew  or 
Gentile,  simply  because  he  is  an  ill-bred  impostor. 

The  impudence  of  the  low-bred  Jew  is  not  one  whit  more 
detestable  than  the  impudence  of  the  low-bred  Gentile,  chil- 

•  87- 


dren  of  shoddy,  who  by  countless  thousands  swarm  into 
doors  opened  for  them  by  our  democracy.  Let  us  cry  quits 
on  that  score.  Let  us  judge  each  other  by  our  best  not  our 
worst  samples,  and  when  we  find  gold  let  us  recognize  it. 
Let  us  prove  all  things  and  hold  fast  that  which  is  good. 

Whilst  it  is  a  matter  of  just  pride  to  us  that  there  is 
neither  physical  persecution  nor  legal  proscription  left  upon 
the  civil  rights  of  the  Jews  in  any  land  where  the  English 
tongue  is  spoken  or  the  English  law  obtains,  yet  I  consider 
it  a  grave  reproach  not  only  to  us,  but  to  all  Christendom 
that  such  injustice  is  permitted  anywhere.  The  recent  bar- 
barities inflicted  upon  them  in  Russia  revive  the  recollection 
of  the  darkest  cruelties  of  the  middle  ages.  That  is  one 
crying  outrage,  one  damned  spot  that  blackens  the  fair 
light  of  the  nineteenth  century,  without  the  semblance  of 
excuse  or  the  shadow  of  justification.  That  glare  of  burning 
homes,  those  shrieks  of  outraged  women,  those  wailings  of 
orphaned  children  go  up  to  God,  not  only  as  witnesses 
against  the  wretched  savages  who  perpetrate  them,  but  as 
accusations  also  of  those  who  permit  them.  How  sad  it  is 
again  to  hear  that  old  cry  of  Jewish  sorrow,  which  we  had 
hoped  to  hear  no  more  forever!  How  shameful  it  is  to  know 
that  within  the  shadow  of  so-called  Christian  churches, 
there  are  yet  dark  places  filled  with  the  habitations  of 
cruelty.  No  considerations  of  diplomacy  or  international 
courtesy  should  for  one  moment  stand  in  the  way  of  their 
stern  and  instant  suppression. 

The  Jews  are  our  spiritual  fathers,  the  authors  of  our 
morals,  the  founders  of  our  civilization  with  all  the  power 
and  dominion  arising  therefrom,  and  the  great  peoples  pro- 
fessing Christianity  and  imbued  with  any  of  its  noble  spirit, 
should  see  to  it  that  justice  and  protection  are  afforded  them. 
By  simply  speaking  with  one  voice  it  could  be  done,  for  no 
power  on  earth  could  resist  that  voice.  Every  consideration 
of  humanity  and  international  policy  demands  it.  Their 
unspeakable  misfortunes,  their  inherited  woes,  their  very 

•  88  • 

.  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

helplessness  appeal  to  our  Christian  chivalry,  trumpet- 
tongued  in  behalf  of  those  wretched  victims  of  a  prejudice 
for  which  tolerant  Christianity  is  not  altogether  irrespon- 

There  are  objections  to  the  Jew  as  a  citizen;  many  ob- 
jections; some  true  and  some  false,  some  serious  and  some 
trivial.  It  is  said  that  industrially  he  produces  nothing, 
invents  nothing,  adds  nothing  to  the  public  wealth;  that  he 
will  not  own  real  estate,  nor  take  upon  himself  those  per- 
manent ties  which  beget  patriotism  and  become  the  hos- 
tages of  good  citizenship;  that  he  merely  sojourns  in  the 
land  and  does  not  dwell  in  it,  but  is  ever  in  light  marching 
order  and  is  ready  to  flit  when  the  word  comes  to  go.  These 
are  true  objections  in  the  main,  and  serious  ones,  but  I  sub- 
mit the  fault  is  not  his,  even  here. 

"Quoth  old  Mazeppa,  ill-betide 

The  school  wherein  I  learned  to  ride." 

These  habits  he  learned  by  persecution.  He  dwelt  every- 
where in  fear  and  trembling,  and  had  no  assurance  of  his 
life.  He  was  ever  ready  to  leave  because  at  any  moment  he 
might  be  compelled  to  choose  between  leaving  and  death. 
He  built  no  house,  because  at  any  moment  he  and  his  little 
ones  might  be  thrust  out  of  it  to  perish.  He  cherished  no 
love  for  the  land  because  it  cherished  none  for  him,  but  was 
cruel  and  hard  and  bitter  to  him.  And  yet  history  shows 
that  in  every  land  where  he  has  been  protected  he  has  been 
a  faithful  and  zealous  patriot.  Also  since  his  rights  have 
been  secured  he  has  begun  to  show  the  same  permanent 
attachments  to  the  soil  as  other  people,  and  is  rapidly  build- 
ing houses  and  in  some  places  cultivating  farms.  These  ob- 
jections he  is  rapidly  removing  since  we  have  removed  their 

So,  too,  the  impression  is  sought  to  be  made  that  he  is 
dishonest  in  his  dealings  with  the  Gentiles,  insincere  in  his 
professions,  servile  to  his  superiors  and  tyrannical  to  his 

.  89  • 

•  ZEBULON   B.  VANCE  • 

inferiors,  oriental  in  his  habits  and  manner.  That  the  Jew 
•—meaning  the  class— is  dishonest,  I  believe  to  be  an  atro- 
cious calumny;  and,  considering  that  we  derive  all  of  our 
notions  of  rectitude  from  the  Jew,  who  first  taught  the 
world  that  command,  "Thou  shalt  not  steal,"  and  "Thou 
shalt  not  bear  false  witness,"  we  pay  ourselves  a  shabby 
compliment  in  thus  befouling  our  teachers.  Undoubtedly 
there  are  Jewish  scoundrels  in  great  abundance;  undoubt- 
edly also  there  are  Gentile  scoundrels  in  greater  abundance. 
Southern  reconstruction  put  that  fact  beyond  a  peradven- 
ture.  But  our  own  scoundrels  are  orthodox,  Jewish  scoun- 
drels are  unbelievers— that  is  the  difference.  If  a  man  robs 
me  I  should  thank  him  that  he  denies  my  creed  too;  he  com- 
pliments both  me  and  it  by  the  denial. 

The  popular  habit  is  to  regard  an  injury  done  to  one  by 
a  man  of  different  creed  as  a  double  wrong;  to  me  it  seems 
that  the  wrong  is  the  greater  coming  from  my  own.  To  hold 
also,  as  some  do,  that  the  sins  of  all  people  are  due  to  their 
creeds,  would  leave  the  sins  of  the  sinners  of  my  creed  quite 
unaccounted  for.  With  some  the  faith  of  a  scoundrel  is  all 
important;  it  is  not  so  with  me. 

All  manner  of  crimes,  including  perjury,  cheating  and 
over-reaching  in  trade,  are  unhesitatingly  attributed  to  the 
Jews,  generally  by  their  rivals  in  trade.  Yet  somehow  they 
are  rarely  proven  to  the  satisfaction  of  even  Gentile  judges 
and  juries.  The  gallows  clutches  but  few,  nor  are  they  found 
in  the  jails  and  penitentiaries— a  species  of  real  estate  which 
I  honor  them  for  not  investing  in.  I  admit  that  there  was 
and  is  perhaps  now  a  remnant  of  the  feeling  that  it  was  legal 
to  spoil  the  Egyptians.  Their  constant  life  of  persecution 
would  naturally  inspire  this  feeling;  their  present  life  of 
toleration  and  their  business  estimate  of  the  value  of  char- 
acter will  as  naturally  remove  it.  Again  and  again,  day  by 
day,  we  evince  our  Gentile  superiority  in  the  tricks  of  trade 
and  sharp  practice.  It  is  asserted  by  our  proverbial  exclama- 
tion in  regard  to  a  particular  piece  of  villainy,  "That  beats 


.  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

the  Jews!"  And  I  call  your  attention  to  the  further  fact 
that,  sharp  as  they  undoubtedly  are,  they  have  found  it  im- 
possible to  make  a  living  in  New  England.  Outside  of  Bos- 
ton, not  fifty  perhaps  can  be  found  in  all  that  land  of  un- 
suspecting integrity  and  modest  righteousness.  They  have 
managed  to  endure  with  longsuffering  patience  the  knout 
of  the  Czar  and  the  bowstring  of  the  Turk,  but  they  have 
fled  for  life  from  the  presence  of  the  wooden  nutmegs  and 
the  left-handed  gimlets  of  Jonathan.  Is  there  any  man  who 
hears  me  tonight  who,  if  a  Yankee  and  a  Jew  were  to 
"lock  horns"  in  a  regular  encounter  of  commercial  wits, 
would  not  give  large  odds  on  the  Yankee?  My  own  opinion 
is  that  the  genuine  "guessing"  Yankee,  with  a  jack-knife 
and  a  pine  shingle  could  in  two  hours  time  whittle  the  smart- 
est Jew  in  New  York  out  of  his  homestead  in  the  Abrahamic 

I  agreed  with  Lord  Macaulay  that  the  Jew  is  what  we 
have  made  him.  If  he  is  a  bad  job,  in  all  honesty  we  should 
contemplate  him  as  the  handiwork  of  our  own  civilization. 
If  there  be  indeed  guile  upon  his  lips  or  servility  in  his  man- 
ner, we  should  remember  that  such  are  the  legitimate  fruits 
of  oppression  and  wrong,  and  that  they  have  been,  since  the 
pride  of  Judah  was  broken  and  his  strength  scattered,  his 
only  means  of  turning  aside  the  uplifted  sword  and  the 
poised  javelin  of  him  who  sought  to  plunder  and  slay.  In- 
deed so  long  has  he  schemed  and  shifted  to  avoid  injustice 
and  cruelty,  that  we  can  perceive  in  him  all  the  restless 
watchfulness  which  characterizes  the  hunted  animal. 

To  this  day  the  cast  of  the  Jew's  features  in  repose  is 
habitually  grave  and  sad  as  though  the  very  ploughshare  of 
sorrow  had  marked  its  furrows  across  their  faces  forever. 

"And  where  shall  Israel  lave  her  bleeding  feet? 
And  when  shall  Zion's  songs  again  seem  sweet, 
And  Judah's  melody  once  more  rejoice 
The  hearts  that  leaped  before  its  heavenly  voice? 
Tribes  of  the  wandering  foot  and  weary  heart 

•  91  • 


How  shall  ye  flee  away  and  be  at  rest? 
The  wild  dove  hath  her  nest— the  fox  his  cave- 
Mankind  their  country— Israel  but  the  grave." 

The  hardness  of  Christian  prejudice  having  dissolved,  so 
will  that  of  the  Jew.  The  hammer  of  persecution  having 
ceased  to  beat  upon  the  iron  mass  of  their  stubbornness,  it 
will  cease  to  consolidate  and  harden,  and  the  main  strength 
of  their  exclusion  and  preservation  will  have  been  lost.  They 
will  perhaps  learn  that  one  sentence  of  our  Lord's  prayer, 
which  it  is  said  is  not  to  be  found  in  the  Talmud,  and  which 
is  the  key-note  of  the  difference  between  Jew  and  Gentile, 
"Forgive  us  our  trespasses  as  we  forgive  them  who  trespass 
against  us." 

If  so,  they  will  become  as  other  men,  and  taking  their 
harps  down  from  the  willows,  no  longer  refuse  to  sing  the 
songs  of  Zion  because  they  are  captives  in  a  strange  land. 

I  believe  that  there  is  a  morning  to  open  yet  for  the  Jews 
in  Heaven's  good  time,  and  if  that  opening  shall  be  in  any 
way  commensurate  with  the  darkness  of  the  night  through 
which  they  have  passed,  it  will  be  the  brightest  that  ever 
dawned  upon  a  faithful  people. 

I  have  stood  on  the  summit  of  the  very  monarch  of  our 
great  Southern  Alleghanies  and  seen  the  night  flee  away 
before  the  chariot  wheels  of  the  God  of  day.  The  stars  re- 
ceded before  the  pillars  of  lambent  fire  that  pierced  the 
zenith,  a  thousand  ragged  mountain  peaks  began  to  peer 
up  from  the  abysmal  darkness,  each  looking  through  the 
vapory  seas  that  filled  the  gorges  like  an  island  whose  "jut- 
ting and  confounded  base  was  swilled  by  the  wild  and 
wasteful  ocean."  As  the  curtain  was  lifted  more  and  more 
and  the  eastern  brightness  grew  in  radiance  and  in  glory, 
animate  nature  prepared  to  receive  her  Lord;  the  tiny  snow- 
bird from  its  nest  in  the  turf  began  chirping  to  its  young; 
the  silver  pheasant  sounded  its  morning  drum-beat  for  its 
mate  in  the  boughs  of  the  fragrant  fir;  the  dun  deer  rising 
slowly  from  his  mossy  couch  and  stretching  himself  in 


•  "the  scattered  nation"  • 

graceful  curves,  began  to  crop  the  tender  herbage;  whilst 
the  lordly  eagle  rising  straight  upward  from  his  home  on 
the  crag,  with  pinions  wide  spread,  bared  his  golden  breast 
to  the  yellow  beams  and  screamed  his  welcome  to  the  sun 
in  his  coming!  Soon  the  vapors  of  the  night  are  lifted  up 
on  shafts  of  fire,  rolling  and  seething  in  billows  of  refulgent 
flame,  until  when  far  overhead,  they  are  caught  upon  the 
wings  of  the  morning  breeze  and  swept  away,  perfect  day 
was  established  and  there  was  peace.  So  may  it  be  with  this 
long-suffering  and  immortal  people.  So  may  the  real  spirit 
of  Christ  yet  be  so  triumphantly  infused  amongst  those 
who  profess  to  obey  his  teachings,  that  with  one  voice  and 
one  hand  they  will  stay  the  persecutions  and  hush  the  sor- 
rows of  these  their  wondrous  kinsmen,  put  them  forward 
into  the  places  of  honor  and  the  homes  of  love  where  all  the 
lands  in  which  they  dwell,  shall  be  to  them  as  was  Jerusalem 
to  their  fathers.  So  may  the  morning  come,  not  to  them 
alone,  but  to  all  the  children  of  men  who,  through  much 
tribulation  and  with  heroic  manhood  have  waited  for  its 
dawning,  with  a  faith  whose  constant  cry  through  all  the 
dreary  watches  of  the  night  has  been,  "Though  he  slay  me, 
yet  will  I  trust  in  him!" 

"Roll  golden  sun,  roll  swiftly  toward  the  west, 
Dawn  happy  day  when  many  woes  shall  cease; 

Come  quickly  Lord,  thy  people  wait  the  rest 
Of  thine  abiding  peace! 

No  more,  no  more  to  hunger  here  for  love; 

No  more  to  thirst  for  blessings  long  denied. 
Judah!  Thy  face  is  foul  with  weeping,  but  above 

Thou  shalt  be  satisfied!" 

•  93  • 



First  Memorial  Ceremony  at  Charlotte 

Excerpts  from  report  about  memorial  ceremony  on  April 
16,  1894,  at  Charlotte,  on  the  day  before  the  funeral  of  Zeb- 
ulon  B.  Vance,  at  Asheville,  from  The  Charlotte  Observer-. 

Beautiful  and  touching  speeches  were  made  but  the  gem 
of  all  was  that  of  the  long  time  law  partner  of  the  dead 
Senator  [Clement  Dowd].  His  voice  was  full  of  tears,  his 
whole  being  quivering  with  sincere  and  ill-suppressed  emo- 
tion, and  it  almost  seemed  that  drops  of  blood  from  his  lac- 
erated heart  lingered  about  the  words  which  fell  from  his 
lips.  He  said:  "If  I  should  say  this  bereavement  came  as  a 
personal  one  to  me  I  should  only  say  what  was  true  of  every 
man,  woman  and  child  in  the  State,  for  the  Governor  was 
loved  by  all.  No  man  before  him  was  ever  so  universally 
loved.  His  image  seemed  to  be  engraved  upon  the  hearts  of 
all  his  people.  He  was  especially  the  friend  of  the  common 
people,  even  little  children  instinctively  knew  he  was  their 
friend."  The  speaker  told  of  two  country  men,  who  during 
the  late  campaign  inquired  of  him  whether  Vance  was  com- 
ing to  Charlotte.  No,  was  the  reply;  he  is  not  strong  enough 
to  speak.  "Oh,  we  don't  want  him  to  speak.  We  just  want 
to  see  him  one  more  time,"  said  one.  "I  would  ride  ten  miles 
through  the  rain  the  worst  day  in  the  winter  just  to  get  to 
see  the  side  of  his  face,"  said  the  other. 

"No  one  thoroughly  knew  him,"  continued  the  speaker. 
"I  did  not.  He  was  not  built  to  the  measure  of  other  men. 
He  was  a  great  reader  and  student  of  history.  He  loved  old 
books  and  ancient  stories  and  characters.  He  was  fond  of 
taking  Cyrus,  Alexander,  Caesar,  Hannibal,  and  getting 
the  gist  of  their  campaigns,  comparing  them  with  similar 
campaigns  of  modern  times.  He  even  found  time  to  make 
detours  into  astronomy  and  geology.  He  had  many  adver- 



saries;  he  was  in  many  battles  and  conflicts,  but  I  don't 
think  he  had  an  enemy  when  he  died.  In  his  great  big  heart 
there  was  no  place  for  enmity.  His  life  was  pure,  and  no 
scandal  was  ever  attached  to  his  name.  They  will  lay  him 
to  rest  among  the  mountains  where  his  boyhood  and  early 
life  were  spent,  and  from  that  lofty  couch  he  will  be  among 
the  very  first  to  catch  the  dawn  of  the  eternal  day." 

This  surpassingly  eloquent  peroration  was  greeted  with 
an  unsuppressed  and  uncontrollable  outburst  of  applause, 
which,  yet  at  the  same  time  seemed  somehow  to  be  muffled 
and  in  mourning. 

The  Rev.  Dr.  Preston,  pastor  of  the  First  Presbyterian 
church,  said  he  thought  one  of  the  most  remarkable  things 
about  this  remarkable  man,  and  which  made  most  for  his 
remarkable  career,  was  the  training  of  his  mother.  She  had 
laid  the  foundation  for  his  character  and  reputation  to  rest 
upon.  He  pictured  the  Governor  in  his  old  pew  in  the  First 
Presbyterian  church  in  former  days;  he  was  not  a  com- 
municant then,  but  had  the  knowledge  of  his  mother's  train- 
ing as  a  holy  inspiration,  but  it  was  not  till  after  the  death 
of  his  wife  that  he  connected  himself  with  any  church;  that 
most  appalling  family  affliction,  the  greatest  calamity  that 
can  befall  any  man,  was  the  chart  and  compass  which 
guided  him  to  port.  Governor  Vance  was  then  found,  not 
uniting  with  some  strong  church,  but  with  a  little  strug- 
gling church  in  Raleigh,  and  recently,  when  occasion  came 
to  remove  his  membership,  he  placed  it  in  the  old  church  in 
Charlotte,  so  fragrant  to  him,  doubtless,  with  sweet  asso- 

Perhaps  there  was  never  before  a  memorial  meeting  held 
in  honor  of  a  great  Gentile  prince  at  which  an  Israelite  stood 
up  and  paid  such  a  tribute  as  did  Mr.  Samuel  Wittkowsky 
to  the  memory  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance.  He  spoke  of  how  Vance 
had  won  the  hearts  of  the  Hebrews  of  this  State  and  country 
by  the  full  measure  of  justice  he  accorded  them  in  his  fa- 
mous lecture  on  the  "Scattered  Nation,"  and  he  said  no 

•  98  • 


Israelite  ever  voted  against  Vance.  Such  a  blow  has  fallen 
upon  our  State  and  country  that  it  will  take  long  years  to 
overcome  it.  In  common  with  the  million  and  a  half  of 
North  Carolina's  sons  and  daughters  I  wish  to  give  expres- 
sion not  only  to  my  feelings  personally  on  this  melancholy 
event,  but  I  speak  also  for  my  race  in  the  State  and  through- 
out the  Union.  The  deceased  has  ever  by  his  words  and 
acts  demonstrated  that  he  was  their  friend.  And  now,  fel- 
low-citizens, let  us  perpetuate  his  memory  and  teach  our 
children  to  instruct  their  children  and  their  children's  chil- 
dren to  revere  his  memory,  and  that  wherever  their  lot  may 
be  cast  and  they  are  asked  where  they  came  from,  to  point 
with  pride  to  the  State  which  gave  birth  to  Zebulon  B. 

The  next  speaker  was  Col.  Hamilton  C.  Jones,  and  his 
was  a  very  beautiful  tribute,  indeed,  and  deserves  a  full 
report  which  a  lack  of  time  forbids.  He  related  among  other 
things  that  after  Vance  had  been  elected  to  the  United 
States  Senate,  while  Governor  of  the  State,  and  was  about 
leaving  for  Washington,  I  saw  him  and  said  this  honor 
must  be  very  pleasing  and  gratifying  to  you,  and  he  replied 
as  God  is  my  judge,  be  assured  I  would  rather  serve  the 
people  as  Governor  than  to  be  the  foremost  Senator  in  the 
United  States.  Col.  Jones  said  Senator  Vance  was  easily 
first  among  all  the  statesmen  North  Carolina  had  produced; 
that  he  did  not  understand  the  art  of  mere  politics.  His 
triumphs  came  from  honest  purpose  and  right  conviction. 

As  reported  in  Dowd,  Clement,  Life  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance  (Charlotte, 
1897),  p.  321. 



Second  Memorial  Ceremony  at  Charlotte 

Excerpts  from  report  about  memorial  ceremony  on  April  18, 
1894,  at  Charlotte,  on  the  day  after  the  funeral  of  Zebulon  B. 
Vance  at  Asheville,  from  The  Daily  Observer: 

"Vance,  of,  by  and  for  the  people,"  said  Capt.  Ardrey 

Surely  no  man  was  ever  loved  as  this  one.  Country  and 
town  assembled  yesterday  to  do  honor  to  his  memory. 

The  auditorium  held  between  two  and  three  thousand 
people.  An  audience  composed  of  high  and  low,  rich  and 
poor,  country  and  town  people.  Just  such  an  assemblage 
has  not  been  seen  here  before.  The  country  people  began 
coming  in  early  yesterday  morning.  Every  township  in  the 
county  was  represented.  All  came  with  like  impulse  and 
sentiment— with  fervid  desire  to  pay  tribute  to  "Zeb  Vance," 
the  people's  idol. 

There  were  on  the  rostrum,  besides  the  singers,  Rev.  Dr. 
Preston,  Major  C.  Dowd,  Capt.  W.  E.  Ardrey,  Major  S.  W. 
Reid,  Dr.  J.  B.  Alexander,  Col.  J.  E.  Brown,  Messrs.  J.  M. 
Kirkpatrick,  C.  W.  Tillett,  J.  P.  Alexander,  John  Springs 
Davidson,  H.  K.  Reid,  and  J.  Hervy  Henderson. 

After  the  hymn,  Capt.  W.  E.  Ardrey  addressed  the  au- 

"We  have  met,"  said  he,  "to  do  honor  to  a  great  man. 
This  meeting  was  called  in  honor  of  our  great  Senator, 
Zebulon  B.  Vance.  He  was  of  the  people,  by  the  people  and 
for  the  people,  and  he  lives  in  the  hearts  of  the  people.  It 
is  a  delight  to  honor  this  great  and  glorious  man.  While 
North  Carolina  has  its  Gastons,  Grahams  and  others,  she 
can  boast  of  only  one  Zeb  Vance.  He  was  her  great  leader. 

.  100. 

•  APPENDIX  B  • 

Wherever  he  lead  the  people  followed.  He  had  no  will  of 
his  own  when  her  interests  were  at  stake.  His  bidding  was 
from  God  and  his  country.  He  was  poor  because  he  was 
honest.  His  name  will  be  handed  down  with  that  of  Web- 
ster, Calhoun  and  other  great  men.  Whoever  his  mantel 
falls  on  will  receive  a  pure  and  spotless  one.  We  thank  God 
to-day,  my  friends,  that  he  died  with  clean  hands  and  a 
pure  heart.  Let  us  teach  our  children  to  honor  and  revere 
the  name  of  Zebulon  Baird  Vance." 

•      •  • 

Mr.  John  Springs  Davidson  was  the  next  speaker.  He 
paid  an  enthusiastic  and  loving  tribute  to  Senator  Vance. 
"It  is  the  duty  of  every  citizen  in  the  United  States  to  pay 
tribute  to  Senator  Vance,"  said  he.  "If  God  had  spared  his 
life  he  would  have  occupied  the  highest  position  in  the  gift 
of  the  people.  [Great  applause].  I  say  to  the  young  men  of 
Mecklenburg  to  take  Zeb  Vance  as  their  model.  There  may 
be  a  Zeb  Vance  in  this  audience.  Emulate  his  example.  He 
was  the  greatest  man  of  this  day  and  of  this  generation." 

Mr.  J.  P.  Alexander  next  paid  his  tribute  to  Vance.  He 
dwelt  particularly  on  the  war  record  of  the  great  war  Gov- 
ernor. "Where  is  the  State,"  said  he,  "that  has  produced 
another  Vance,  or  any  one  like  him?  There  was  no  Mason's 
and  Dixon's  line  separating  the  good  will  of  the  people.  The 
North  honored  him  as  well  as  did  the  South.  He  was  the 
greatest  man  America  has  ever  produced." 

The  gem  of  all  the  talks  was  reserved  for  the  last— that 
of  Mr.  C.  W.  Tillett.  From  the  moment  he  repeated  the 
first  sad  words— "Zeb  Vance  is  dead"— through  every  tear- 
bedimmed  utterance,  the  people  sat  enrapt,  and  handker- 
chief after  handkerchief  went  f aceward  to  catch  the  falling 

.  101  • 


"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  Few  and  short  are  these  cruel  words 
which  men  with  lips  compressed  and  cheeks  all  blanched 
have  whispered  one  to  another;  and  yet  they  bear  the  mes- 
sage of  the  greatest  grief  which  ever  yet  has  filled  the  Old 
North  State. 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  Ring  out  the  funeral  bells  and  let 
their  mournful  tones  re-echo  in  the  empty  chambers  of  the 
hearts  once  filled  with  gladsome  sounds  of  his  loved  voice. 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  And  mirth  herself  hath  put  on 
mourning;  and  laughter,  child  of  his  most  genial  brain, 
hath  hid  her  face  in  tears. 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  The  fires  of  party  strife  are  quenched; 
and  throbbing  hearts  and  tear-beclouded  eyes  tell  more 
than  words  of  grandest  eloquence  the  anguish  of  the  peo- 
ple's minds  and  how  they  loved  him. 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  Soldier,  statesman,  patriot,  friend! 
In  war  and  peace,  the  one  of  all  her  sons  to  whom  his  mother 
State  looked  most  for  succor  and  relief;  and  can  it  be  that 
in  the  days  to  come,  when  dreaded  dangers  threaten  all 
around,  we  nevermore  can  call  for  him  before  whose  match- 
less powers  in  days  gone  by  our  enemies  have  quailed  and 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  His  was  a  name  you  could  conjure 
with,  and  oftimes  in  the  past,  when  this  loved  Common- 
wealth of  ours  has  been  stirred  to  its  inmost  depths,  and 
men  knew  not  which  way  to  go  nor  what  to  say,  the  cry  was 
sounded  forth  that  'Vance  is  coming,'  and  from  the  moun- 
tain fastness  of  the  west  and  the  everglades  of  the  eastern 
plains,  the  people  came  who  never  would  come  forth  to 
hear  another  living  man,  and  gathering  around  in  countless 
multitudes,  they  hung  upon  his  every  word  with  eager  eye 
and  listening  ear,  and  all  he  told  them  they  believed  because 
'our  Vance'  had  said  it. 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  And  where  shall  come  the  man  to 
tell  the  world  soul-inspiring  story  of  his  hero  life?  How, 
coming  forth  from  humble  home,  he  baffled  and  o'ercame 

.  102- 


the  fates  that  would  have  crushed  beneath  their  feet  a  man 
of  meaner  mould;  how  serving  faithfully  and  well  in  every 
trust  committed  unto  him,  he  soon  won  first  place  in  the 
hearts  of  all  his  countrymen  and  held  that  place  for  three 
score  years  unto  the  end;  how,  when  his  native  land  was 
plunged  in  throes  of  civil  strife,  he  went  forth  in  the  front 
rank  to  defend  and  save  her  and  fought  with  valor  all  her 
foes;  how  called  to  rule  as  chief  executive  in  times  that  tried 
men's  souls,  he  ruled  so  wisely  and  so  well;  how  when  the 
war  was  over  and  the  cause  was  lost— when  down  upon  his 
bleeding,  prostrate  country  came  the  horde  of  vampires 
from  the  North  to  suck  the  last  remaining  drops  of  life 
blood  from  his  people,  he  rose  with  power  almost  divine 
and  drove  them  back;  and  then  with  gentle  hand  he  caused 
the  wounds  to  heal  and  his  loved  land  to  prosper  once  again 
as  in  the  years  gone  by;  and  how  at  last,  when  after  years 
of  faithful,  honest  toil,  upon  his  noble  form  was  laid  the  icy 
hand  of  death,  he  bowed  his  head  in  meek  submission  to  His 
will  and  yielded  up  to  God  his  manly  soul!  Who  can  be 
found  to  sing  the  praise  of  such  a  one,  and  who  can  speak 
the  anguish  of  the  people's  hearts  at  his  untimely  death? 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  He  was  the  friend  and  tribune  of 
the  people.  Though  he  rose  to  place  where  he  held  converse 
with  the  great  and  mighty  of  the  earth,  his  sympathetic 
heart  was  open  wide  to  all  mankind,  and  his  strong  arm  was 
first  stretched  forth  to  lift  the  lowliest  of  the  sons  of  men 
that  cried  to  him  for  help,  and  in  the  Nation's  Senate  halls 
his  voice  was  ever  lifted  up  to  plead  the  cause  of  the  down- 
trodden and  oppressed  against  the  favored  classes  and  the 
money  kings. 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  And  when  he  died,  a  poor  man  died; 
for  though  he  stood  where  oft  there  was  within  his  grasp 
the  gains  of  millions  if  he  would  but  swerve  from  right  and 
reach  it,  he  cast  it  all  aside  with  scorn,  and  dying,  left  his 
sons  and  all  the  people  of  his  land  the  priceless  legacy  of  an 
honest  and  untarnished  name. 

.  103  • 


"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  And  yet  he  lives;  the  influence  of  his 
noble  words  and  honest  life  can  never  die;  and  in  the  years 
to  come  men  gathering  round  their  firesides  at  the  evening 
hour  shall  tell  their  sons  of  him  and  how  he  scorned  a  lie  and 
scorned  dishonest  gains. 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  But  he  shall  live  forever  more.  Oh, 
blessed  truth,  which  Mary's  Son,  the  God-man,  taught 
when  standing  near  the  tomb  with  His  all-conquering  foot 
upon  the  skull  of  death,  He  called  forth  Lazarus  unto  life, 
and  told  a  listening  world  the  thrilling  truth  that  whosoever 
lived  and  in  His  name  believed  should  never  die. 

"Zeb  Vance  is  dead!  If  it  be  truth 

'That  men  may  rise  on  stepping  stones 
Of  their  dead  selves  to  higher  things,' 

"Oh,  grander  truth,  that  a  nation  too  may  rise  on  stepping 
stones  of  her  dead  hero  sons  unto  a  higher  life.  And  God 
vouchsafe  that  our  own  State,  while  weeping  o'er  the  grave 
of  him,  her  best-loved,  most  honored  son,  may  yet  be  thereby 
lifted  into  a  grander,  nobler  life." 

As  reported  in  Dowd,  p.  323. 



Eulogies  in  the  United  States  Senate 

A  memorial  ceremony  was  held  in  the  United  States  Senate 
on  January  19, 1895.  Nine  Senators  delivered  eulogies.  Among 
them  was  Senator  Matt  W.  Ransom  from  North  Carolina. 
These  eulogies  were  in  addition  to  those  delivered  at  the  time 
of  Vance's  decease  on  April  14,  1894.  Excerpts  from  Senator 
Ransom's  address : 

[Address  of  Mr.  Ransom.] 

Mr.  President:  The  Senate  is  asked  to  render  its  last 
duties  of  honor  and  sorrow  to  the  memory  of  the  Hon. 
Zebulon  Baird  Vance,  late  a  Senator  from  North  Carolina. 

In  this  Chamber  on  the  16th  of  last  April,  two  days  after 
his  death,  the  Senate  lighted  its  black  torches  around  the 
lifeless  form  of  that  most  honored  and  beloved  son  of  our 
State,  and  his  mortal  figure,  covered  with  the  white  flowers 
of  spring  and  love,  and  hallowed  by  the  sacred  devotions 
of  religion,  passed  amid  tears  like  a  shadow  from  these 
portals  forever.  To-day  his  associates  on  this  floor  are  here 
to  place  on  the  ever-living  annals  of  the  Senate  the  record 
of  their  admiration  and  affection  for  his  virtues. 

In  1878  he  was  elected  to  the  Senate,  and  until  he  died 
remained  a  member  of  this  body,  having  been  elected  four 
times  a  Senator.  His  record  in  the  Senate  is  part  of  the 
nation's  history.  From  the  beginning  he  was  an  active, 
earnest  debater,  a  constant,  faithful  worker,  a  dutiful,  de- 
voted Senator,  aspiring  and  laboring  for  the  welfare  and 
honor  of  the  whole  country.  He  was  at  all  times  on  the 
important  committees  of  the  body,  and  took  a  prominent 
part  in  the  discussion  of  almost  every  leading  question.  He 
was  the  unceasing  advocate  of  revenue  reform,  uncom- 
promisingly opposed  to  civil  service,  and  the  ardent  friend 
of  silver  money  and  its  free  coinage  by  the  Government. 

.  105  • 


He  vigilantly  defended  the  rights,  honor,  and  interests  of 
the  Southern  States,  not  from  sectional  passion  or  preju- 
dice, but  because  it  was  his  duty  as  a  patriot  to  every  State 
and  to  the  Union.  He  was  bold,  brave,  open,  candid,  and 
without  reserve.  He  desired  all  the  world  to  know  his  opin- 
ions and  positions  and  never  hesitated  to  avow  them. 

His  heart  every  moment  was  in  North  Carolina.  His  de- 
votion to  the  State  and  people  was  unbounded;  his  solicitude 
for  her  welfare,  his  deep  anxiety  in  all  that  concerned  her, 
and  his  ever  readiness  to  make  every  sacrifice  in  her  behalf 
was  daily  manifested  in  all  his  words  and  actions.  Senator 
Vance  was  an  uncommon  orator.  He  spoke  with  great 
power.  His  style  was  brief,  clear,  and  strong.  His  state- 
ments were  accurate  and  definite,  his  arguments  compact 
and  forcible,  his  illustrations  unsurpassed  in  their  fitness. 
His  wit  and  humor  were  the  ever-waiting  and  ready  hand- 
maids to  his  reasoning,  and  always  subordinated  to  the 
higher  purpose  of  his  speech.  They  were  torchbearers,  ever 
bringing  fresh  light.  He  always  instructed,  always  inter- 
ested, always  entertained,  and  never  wearied  or  fatigued 
an  audience,  and  knew  when  to  conclude.  The  Senate  al- 
ways heard  him  with  pleasure,  and  the  occupants  of  the  gal- 
leries hung  upon  his  lips,  and  with  bended  bodies  and  out- 
stretched necks  would  catch  his  every  word  as  it  fell. 

He  rarely,  if  ever,  spoke  without  bringing  down  ap- 
plause. His  wit  was  as  inexhaustible  as  it  was  exquisite. 
His  humor  was  overflowing,  fresh,  sparkling  like  bubbling 
drops  of  wine  in  a  goblet;  but  he  husbanded  these  rare  re- 
sources of  speech  with  admirable  skill,  and  never  displayed 
them  for  ostentation.  They  were  weapons  of  offense  and 
defense,  and  were  always  kept  sharp  and  bright  and  ready 
for  use.  He  was  master  of  irony  and  sarcasm,  but  there  was 
no  malice,  no  hatred  in  his  swift  and  true  arrows.  Mortal 
wounds  were  often  given,  but  the  shafts  were  never  pois- 
oned. It  was  the  strength  of  the  bow  and  the  skill  of  the 
archer  that  sent  the  steel  through  the  heart  of  its  victim. 

.  106  • 


But  strength,  force,  clearness,  brevity,  honesty  of  convic- 
tion, truth,  passion,  good  judgment,  were  the  qualities  that 
made  his  speech  powerful  and  effective. 

He  believed  what  he  said.  He  knew  it  was  true;  he  felt 
its  force  himself;  his  heart  was  in  his  words;  he  was  ready 
to  put  place,  honor,  life  itself,  upon  the  issue.  This  was 
the  secret  of  his  popularity,  fame,  and  success  as  a  speaker. 
He  studied  his  speeches  with  the  greatest  care,  deliberated, 
meditated  upon  them  constantly,  arranged  the  order  of  his 
topics  with  consummate  discretion,  introduced  authorities 
from  history,  and  very  often  from  sacred  history,  presented 
some  popular  faith  as  an  anchor  to  his  ship,  and  concluded 
with  a  sincere  appeal  to  the  patriotic  impulses  of  the  people. 
No  speaker  ever  resorted  to  the  bayonet  more  frequently. 

He  did  not  skirmish;  he  marched  into  the  battle,  charged 
the  center  of  the  lines,  and  never  failed  to  draw  the  blood 
of  the  enemy.  Sometimes  he  was  supreme  in  manner,  in 
words,  in  thought,  in  pathos.  He  possessed  the  thunderbolts, 
but,  like  Jove,  he  never  trifled  with  them;  he  only  invoked 
them  when  gigantic  perils  confronted  his  cause.  In  1876, 
upon  his  third  nomination  for  Governor,  speaking  to  an 
immense  audience  in  the  State-house  Square  at  Raleigh, 
he  held  up  both  hands  in  the  light  of  the  sun  and  with  sol- 
emn invocation  to  Almighty  God  declared  that  they  were 
white  and  stainless,  that  not  one  cent  of  corrupt  money  had 
ever  touched  their  palms.  The  effect  was  electric;  the  state- 
ment was  conviction  and  conclusion.  The  argument  was 
unanswerable.  It  was  great  nature's  action.  It  was  elo- 
quence. It  was  truth. 

Senator  Vance's  integrity  and  uprightness  in  public  and 
in  private  life  were  absolute;  they  were  unimpeached  and 
unimpeachable;  he  was  honest;  it  is  the  priceless  inher- 
itance which  he  leaves  to  his  family,  his  friends,  his  coun- 
try. He  was  an  honest  man.  Calumny  fell  harmless  at  his 
feet;  the  light  dissipated  every  cloud  and  he  lived  contin- 
ually in  its  broad  rays;  his  breastplate,  his  shield,  his  armor 

.  107  • 


was  the  light,  the  truth.  There  was  no  darkness,  no  mys- 
tery, no  shadow  upon  his  bright  standard. 

•      •  • 

He  had  not  the  wisdom  and  virtue  of  Macon;  he  was 
not  like  Badger,  a  master  of  argument,  he  was  not  like 
Graham,  a  model  of  dignity  and  learning;  he  had  not  the 
superb  speech  and  grand  passion  of  Mangum;  he  wanted 
the  tenacious  and  inexorable  logic  of  Bragg;  but  in  all  the 
endowments,  qualities,  faculties,  and  attainments  that  make 
up  the  orator  and  the  statesmen  he  was  the  equal  of  either. 
No  man  among  the  living  or  the  dead  has  ever  so  possessed 
and  held  the  hearts  of  North  Carolina's  people.  In  their 
confidence,  their  affection,  their  devotion,  and  their  grat- 
itude he  stood  unapproachable— without  a  peer.  When  he 
spoke  to  them  they  listened  to  him  with  faith,  with  admi- 
ration, with  rapture  and  exultant  joy.  His  name  was  ever 
upon  their  lips.  His  pictures  were  in  almost  every  household. 
Their  children  by  hundreds  bore  his  beloved  name,  and 
his  words  of  wit  and  wisdom  were  repeated  by  every  tongue. 

What  Tell  was  to  Switzerland,  what  Bruce  was  to  Scot- 
land, what  William  of  Orange  was  to  Holland,  I  had  almost 
said  what  Moses  was  to  Israel,  Vance  was  to  North  Caro- 
lina. I  can  give  you  but  a  faint  idea  of  the  deep,  fervid, 
exalted  sentiment  which  our  people  cherished  for  their 
greatest  tribune.  He  was  of  them.  He  was  one  of  them. 
He  was  with  them.  His  thoughts,  his  feelings,  his  words 
were  theirs.  He  was  their  shepherd,  their  champion,  their 
friend,  their  guide,  blood  of  their  blood,  great,  good,  no- 
ble, true,  human  like  they  were  in  all  respects,  no  better, 
but  wiser,  abler,  with  higher  knowledge  and  profounder 

Nor  was  this  unsurpassed  devotion  unreasonable  or  with- 
out just  foundation.  For  more  than  the  third  of  a  century, 
for  upward  of  thirty  years,  in  peace  and  in  war,  in  prosperity 
and  in  adversity,  in  joy  and  in  sorrow,  he  had  stood  by  them 

.  108  • 


like  a  brother— a  defender,  a  preserver,  a  deliverer.  He  was 
their  martyr  and  had  suffered  for  their  acts.  He  was  their 
shield  and  had  protected  them  from  evil  and  from  peril. 
He  had  been  with  them— he  had  been  with  them  and  their 
sons  and  brothers  on  the  march,  by  the  camp  fires,  in  the 
burning  light  of  battle;  beside  the  wounded  and  the  dying; 
in  their  darkest  hours,  amid  hunger  and  cold,  and  famine 
and  pestilences,  his  watchful  care  had  brought  them  com- 
fort and  shelter  and  protection.  They  remembered  the  gray 
jackets,  the  warm  blankets,  the  good  shoes,  the  timely 
food,  the  blessed  medicines,  which  his  sympathy  and  pro- 
vision had  brought  them.  In  defeat,  amid  tumult,  amid  ruin, 
humiliation,  and  the  loss  of  all  they  had,  he  had  been  their 
adviser;  he  had  guided  them  through  the  wilderness  of  their 
woes  and  brought  them  safely  back  to  their  rights  and  all 
their  hopes.  He  had  been  to  them  like  the  north  star  to  the 
storm-tossed  and  despairing  mariner.  He  had  been  greater 
than  Ulysses  to  the  Greeks.  He  had  preserved  their  priceless 
honor,  had  saved  their  homes,  and  was  the  defender  of  their 
liberties.  He  was  their  benefactor.  Every  object  around 
them  reminded  them  of  his  care,  every  memory  recalled, 
every  thought  suggested,  his  usefulness  and  their  gratitude. 
The  light  from  their  school-houses  spoke  of  his  services  to 
their  education.  The  very  sight  of  their  graves  brought  back 
to  their  hearts  his  tender  devotion  to  their  sons.  And  the 
papers  and  the  wires  with  the  rising  of  almost  every  sun 
bore  to  their  pure  bosoms  the  news  of  his  success,  his  tri- 
umphs, and  his  honors.  They  were  proud  of  him;  they  ad- 
mired him— they  loved  him.  These,  these  were  the  founda- 
tions, the  solid  foundations,  of  his  place  in  their  minds  and 
in  their  hearts.  From  the  wind-beaten  and  storm-bleached 
capes  of  Hatteras  to  the  dark  blue  mountain  tops  that  di- 
vide North  Carolina  and  Tennessee  there  is  not  a  spot  from 
which  the  name  of  Vance  is  not  echoed  with  honor  and 
love.  But  his  influence  and  his  fame  were  not  confined 
within  State  lines. 

.  109  . 


In  New  England  the  sons  of  the  brave  Puritans  admired 
his  love  of  liberty,  his  independence  of  thought,  his  free- 
dom of  speech,  his  contempt  for  pretensions,  and  his  ab- 
horrence of  deceit.  The  hardy  miners  in  the  far  West  and 
on  the  Pacific  hills  felt  his  friendship  and  were  grateful  for 
his  services.  Virginia  loved  him  as  the  vindicator  of  her 
imperiled  rights  and  honor.  From  the  farms  and  fields  and 
firesides  of  the  husbandmen  of  the  Republic  there  came  to 
him  the  greeting  of  friends,  for  he  was  always  the  advocate 
of  low  taxes  and  equal  rights  and  privileges  to  all  men. 
From  all  the  South  he  was  looked  upon  as  the  representa- 
tive of  their  sorrow  and  the  example  of  their  honor;  and 
all  over  the  civilized  world  the  people  of  Israel— "the  scat- 
tered nation"— everywhere  bowed  with  uncovered  heads 
to  the  brave  man  who  had  rendered  his  noble  testimony 
and  a  tribute  to  the  virtues  of  their  race.  Even  the  officers, 
the  sentinels,  and  watchmen  over  him  in  the  Old  Capitol 
Prison,  in  which  he  was  confined  on  the  alleged  and  wrong- 
ful charge  that  he  had  violated  the  laws  of  war,  were  spell- 
bound by  his  genial  spirit  and  became  his  devoted  friends 
up  to  the  hour  of  his  death.  His  genius,  his  ability,  his  hu- 
manity, his  long-continued  public  service,  his  great  physical 
suffering,  a  martyrdom  to  his  duty,  the  sorcery  of  his  wit, 
the  magic  of  his  humor,  and  the  courage  of  his  convictions 
had  attracted  the  universal  sympathy  and  admiration  of  the 
American  people. 

In  the  brief  summary  in  the  Directory  is  embraced  a 
great  life:  County  attorney,  member  of  the  State  house  of 
commons;  Representative  in  two  Congresses;  captain  and 
colonel  in  the  Southern  army;  three  times  elected  Gover- 
nor of  his  State,  and  four  times  elected  to  the  Senate  of  the 
United  States.  What  a  record  and  what  a  combination!  A 
great  statesman,  a  good  soldier,  a  rare  scholar,  a  successful 
lawyer,  an  orator  of  surpassing  power  and  eloquence,  and 
a  man  popular  and  beloved  as  few  men  have  ever  been! 

.  110. 


Great  in  peace  and  great  in  war,  equal  to  every  fortune, 
superior  to  adversity,  and,  greater  still,  superior  to  pros- 
perity! Successful  in  everything  which  he  attempted,  emi- 
nent in  every  field  in  which  he  appeared,  and  fitted  for  every 
effort  which  he  undertook! 

He  was  master  of  political  science  and  distinguished 
in  scholarship  and  literature.  His  political  speeches  were 
models  of  popular  oratory  and  his  literary  addresses  were 
compositions  of  chaste  excellence.  He  wrote  an  electric  edi- 
torial and  drafted  a  legislative  bill  with  equal  clearness 
and  brevity.  His  pen  and  his  tongue  were  of  equal  quality. 
He  used  both  with  equal  power.  He  wrote  much;  he  spoke 
more.  Everything  emanating  from  him  wore  his  own  like- 
ness. He  borrowed  from  no  man.  He  imitated  no  man  and 
no  man  could  imitate  him.  He  was  unique,  original,  won- 
derful, incomprehensible  unless  he  was  a  genius  with  fac- 
ulties and  powers  of  extraordinary  and  exceptional  char- 

His  temper  was  admirable,  calm,  well  balanced,  serene. 
He  cared  less  for  trifles  than  any  man  I  ever  knew.  He 
brushed  them  away  as  a  lion  shakes  the  dust  from  his  mane. 
In  this  respect  he  was  a  giant.  He  was  like  Samson  break- 
ing the  frail  withes  that  bound  his  limbs.  He  was  never 
confused,  rarely  impatient,  seldom  nervous,  and  never 

He  was  merciful  in  the  extreme.  Suffering  touched  him 
to  the  quick.  He  was  compassion  itself  to  distress.  He  was 
as  tender  as  a  gentle  woman  to  the  young,  the  weak,  the 
feeble.  He  was  full  of  charity  to  all  men,  charitable  to 
human  frailty  in  every  shape  and  form  and  phase.  He  had 
deep,  powerful  impulses,  strong  and  passionate  resent- 
ments; in  the  heat  of  conflict  he  was  inexorable,  but  his  gen- 
erosity, his  magnanimity,  his  sense  of  justice  were  deeper 
and  stronger  and  better  than  the  few  passing  passions  of 
his  proud  nature.  To  his  family  and  friends  he  was  all  ten- 

.  Ill  • 


derness  and  indulgence.  His  great  heart  always  beat  in 
duty,  with  sympathy,  with  the  highest  chivalry  to  woman. 

•      •  • 

On  the  night  of  the  16th  of  April  last  we  took  his  casket 
from  these  walls.  We  bore  it  across  the  Potomac— through 
the  bosom  of  Virginia,  close  by  the  grave  of  Washington, 
almost  in  sight  of  the  tombs  of  Jefferson  and  Madison, 
over  the  James,  over  the  North  and  the  South  Roanoke, 
over  the  unknown  border  line  of  the  sister  States— to  the 
sad  heart  of  his  mother  State.  The  night  was  beautiful. 
The  white  stars  shed  their  hallowed  radiance  upon  earth 
and  sky.  The  serenity  was  lovely.  The  whole  heavens  al- 
most seemed  a  happy  reunion  of  the  constellations.  With 
the  first  light  of  day  the  people,  singly,  in  groups,  in  com- 
panies, in  crowds,  in  multitudes,  met  us  everywhere  along 
the  way— both  sexes— all  ages— all  races— all  classes  and 
conditions.  Their  sorrow  was  like  the  gathering  clouds  in 
morning,  ready  to  drop  every  moment  in  showers. 

We  carried  him  to  the  State  house  in  Raleigh,  the  scene 
of  his  greatest  trials  and  grandest  triumphs;  the  heart  of 
the  State  melted  over  her  dead  son.  Her  brightest  jewel 
had  been  taken  away!  We  left  Raleigh  in  the  evening,  and 
passing  over  the  Neuse,  over  the  Yadkin,  over  the  Catawba, 
up  to  the  summit  of  the  Blue  Ridge,  we  placed  the  urn 
with  its  noble  dust  on  the  brow  of  his  own  mountain,  the 
mountain  he  loved  so  well.  There  he  sleeps  in  peace  and 
honor.  On  that  exalted  spot  the  willow  and  the  cypress, 
emblems  of  sorrow  and  mourning,  can  not  grow,  but  the 
bay  and  the  laurel,  the  trees  of  fame,  will  there  flourish 
and  bloom  in  perpetual  beauty  and  glory.  There  will  his 
great  spirit,  like  an  eternal  sentinel  of  liberty  and  truth, 
keep  watch  over  his  people. 

Senators,  I  feel  how  unable  I  have  been  to  perform  this 
sacred  duty.  It  would  have  been  one  of  the  supreme  joys 
of  my  life  to  have  done  justice  to  the  life  and  character  of 

.  112  • 


this  great  and  good  man,  to  have  enshrined  his  memory 
in  eloquence  like  his  own.  But  whatever  may  have  been 
the  faults  of  these  words,  I  have  spoken  from  a  heart  full  of 
sorrow  for  his  death  and  throbbing  with  admiration  and 
pride  for  his  virtues. 

United  States  Congress,  53rd,  3rd  Session,  Memorial  Addresses  on  Life 
and  Character  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance.  (Washington,  1895) 

.  113  • 


Address  at  Unveiling  of  Statue 
at  Capitol  Square 

The  statue  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance  on  Capitol  Square,  Raleigh, 
was  unveiled  on  August  22,  1900.  Richard  H.  Battle,  long- 
time colleague  of  Vance,  was  the  principal  speaker.  Here  are 
excerpts  from  his  address: 

Z.  B.  VANCE. 


I  will  be  pardoned  for  a  personal  allusion  in  saying  that 
I  was  selected  to  address  you  on  this  interesting  occasion, 
rather  than  an  orator  like  Ransom,  Waddell,  Jarvis,  Ben- 
nett, Robbins,  or  some  other  eloquent  man  associated  with 
him  in  public  life,  because  it  was  known  to  those  having 
the  selection  in  charge  that  I  was  more  intimately  ac- 
quainted with  Vance  than  any  of  them,  and  that  I  probably 
best  knew  the  thoughts  of  his  heart  and  the  motives  of  his 
conduct.  Such  I  believe  to  be  the  fact.  We  were  contem- 
poraries at  Chapel  Hill,  and  fellow  members  of  the  same 
literary  society,  he  entering  as  a  law  student  and  taking 
a  partial  course  with  the  senior  class,  when  a  young  man 
just  twenty-one,  and  I  an  impressionable  youth  of  fifteen 
years.  I  was  his  private  secretary  from  the  day  of  his  in- 
auguration as  Governor,  September  8, 1862,  for  two  years, 
and  then,  by  his  appointment,  State  Auditor,  and  often  his 
legal  counsel  in  questions  and  cases  growing  out  of  the 

*  From  an  address  delivered  at  the  unveiling  of  the  Vance  statue  in 
Capitol  Square,  Raleigh,  N.  C,  August  22, 1900. 

.  114- 


conscript  law,  until  we  left  the  Capitol,  April  12,  1865,  the 
day  before  its  occupation  by  Sherman.  During  these  three 
years,  while  his  labors  were  herculean  and  his  anxieties 
intense,  I  was  in  daily  association  with  him,  sometimes  in 
the  privacy  of  his  home,  and  I  had  the  best  of  opportunities 
to  hear  what  he  said,  to  see  what  he  did,  and  to  sound  the 
depths  of  his  great  soul.  Then  and  ever  afterwards  he 
treated  me  with  the  kindness  and  confidence  and  (may  I 
not  say?)  with  the  affection  of  an  older  brother.  I  would 
have  been  blind  indeed  not  to  have  learned  his  real  char- 
acter, and  callous  indeed  not  to  have  felt  for  him  the  affec- 
tion of  a  brother. 

If  then,  in  a  cursory  review  of  the  leading  events  of  his 
life  and  an  attempt  to  delineate  his  character,  I  seem  to  be 
influenced  by  a  natural  bias,  I  can  only  say,  I  try  to  tell 
things  as  they  were,  and  remind  you  that  I  am  only  giving 
reasons  for  the  verdict  of  the  people,  attested  by  what  we 
see  here  to-day,  that  taking  into  consideration  the  many 
elements  which  constitute  greatness,  and  measuring  all  her 
sons  by  its  many  standards,  in  all  the  history  of  North  Caro- 
lina Zebulon  B.  Vance  was  her  greatest  son.  For  Senatorial 
wisdom  and  the  exercise  of  the  civic  virtues  of  a  Cincin- 
nati, we  may  assign  the  pre-eminence  to  Nathaniel  Macon; 
for  polished  statesmanship,  in  times  of  peace,  to  William 
Gaston  or  William  A.  Graham;  for  profundity  as  an  advo- 
cate and  a  logician,  to  George  E.  Badger;  as  a  great  jurist, 
to  Thomas  Ruffin;  for  the  graces  of  magnificent  oratory,  to 
Willie  P.  Mangum;  for  the  talent  to  develop  the  internal 
resources  of  a  State,  to  John  M.  Morehead;  but  in  achieve- 
ment as  a  leader,  in  inducing  others  to  follow  him  by  the 
strength  of  his  personality,  for  what  he  said  and  what  he 
did,  in  peace  and  in  war,  towards  shaping  the  destiny  of 
the  State  and  for  promoting  the  welfare  of  the  people, 
Vance  was  ahead  of  them  all. 

Some  writer  has  said  that  it  takes  three  generations  to 

.  115  • 


make  a  gentleman.  The  history  of  Western  North  Caro- 
lina shows  that  it  took  three  generations  of  heroic  and 
patriotic  citizens  to  make  our  Vance.  His  father  was  David 
Vance,  and  his  mother,  Margaret,  a  daughter  of  Zebulon 
Baird;  and  the  Vances  and  the  Bairds,  sturdy  Scotch-Irish 
people,  from  Kings  Mountain  down,  were  patriots  and 
leading  citizens.  He  inherited  from  such  ancestors  a  spirit 
of  independence,  a  love  of  freedom,  and  a  reverence  for  the 
true,  the  pure,  and  the  good,  along  with  a  strong  mind  and 
sound  body.  He  inherited  little  else;  for  his  father  died  when 
he  was  a  boy,  leaving  a  widow  and  eight  children  to  be  sup- 
ported on  a  small  farm,  and  besides  a  few  slaves,  scarcely 
more  personal  property  than  was  necessary  to  pay  his  debts 
and  funeral  expenses.  So  Zebulon  was  a  poor  boy,  who  had 
to  make  his  own  way  in  the  world.  When  about  twelve 
years  old,  his  father  sent  him  across  the  mountains  on 
horse-back,  to  enter  as  a  pupil  in  a  high  school,  known  as 
Washington  College,  in  East  Tennessee;  but  he  was  soon 
called  home  by  the  mortal  illness  of  his  father,  whose  bed- 
side he  reached  only  in  time  to  see  him  die.  All  the  educa- 
tion, in  schools,  he  then  had  or  acquired  afterwards,  until 
he  became  of  age,  was  obtained  in  little  schools  in  the  neigh- 
borhood of  his  native  home.  That  home  was  about  ten  miles 
northwest  of  Asheville,  in  the  county  of  Buncombe,  and 
but  a  few  hundred  yards  from  the  French  Broad  River. 
Born  and  reared  in  the  shadows  of  the  highest  peaks  of  the 
Blue  Ridge  Mountains,  with  Mount  Mitchell  and  Pisgah 
in  full  view  from  the  surrounding  hills,  and  with  the  music 
of  the  mountain  streams  and  birds  in  the  air,  the  boy,  en- 
dowed with  uncommon  intelligence  and  an  active  imagina- 
tion, was  early  inspired  with  a  love  of  his  native  land,  while 
his  soul  was  attuned  to  the  poetry  of  nature.  Patriotism  and 
poetry,  lofty  sentiments,  are  closely  akin;  and  these  senti- 
ments most  abound  where  nature  is  most  picturesque  and 
grand;  where  the  mists  of  morning  are  dispelled  from  glow- 

.  116  • 


ing  peaks  by  the  rising  sun,  and  the  lengthening  shadows 
of  evening  change  the  form  and  color  of  cloud,  forest,  and 
mountain;  where  rushing  streams  and  leaping  cascades 
furnish  to  eyes  which  can  see,  and  ears  attuned  to  hear,  a 
beauty  and  charm  unknown  to  dwellers  among  the  foot- 
hills or  on  the  level  lands  below.  The  intelligent  inhabitants 
of  such  a  region  learn  to  love  their  homes  intensely,  and  are 
ever  ready  to  fight  and  die  for  them.  So  it  was,  ever,  with 
the  Swiss  and  the  Highland  Scotch,  where  mountains 
echoed  and  re-echoed  their  patriotic  songs;  and  we  read  in 
sacred  history  that  when  the  chosen  people  were  taken  by 
their  conquerors  from  the  mountains  and  hills  of  Galilee 
and  Judea,  and  carried  captive  to  the  plains  of  Babylon, 
they  "hung  their  harps  upon  the  willows"  and  wept  tears 
of  despair  for  their  country.  Certain  it  is  that,  in  my  obser- 
vation of  the  great  and  patriotic  men  of  our  State,  her  two 
most  devoted  sons  were  born  and  reared  among  the  moun- 
tains of  Buncombe:  David  L.  Swain  and  Zebulon  B.  Vance. 
Inspired  alike  by  the  poetry  of  the  Bible  and  of  nature, 
their  souls  were  open  to  all  high  and  patriotic  emotions.  At 
first  their  love  was  given  to  their  native  homes;  but  as  the 
sphere  of  their  lives  and  labor  widened  it  was  extended  to 
State  and  country.  Was  it  due  to  this  special  quality  or  vir- 
tue, apparent  in  them,  that  they,  each,  became  the  Chief 
Magistrate  of  the  State  at  the  early  age  of  thirty-two  years, 
when  younger  than  any  other  in  our  long  list  of  Governors? 

•      •  • 

But  Vance's  right  to  the  epithet  of  "The  War  Governor 
of  the  South"  is  due  as  much  to  the  earnest  support  of  the 
Confederate  cause  by  his  State  through  him  as  its  executive 
head,  as  to  what  he  did  for  its  people,  their  protection  under 
the  law,  and  their  general  welfare.  For  nearly  three  years, 
from  September  8,  1862,  to  the  evening  he  left  Raleigh, 
April  12,  1865,  to  avoid  capture  by  Sherman,  he  did  all 



that  vigilance,  zeal,  and  energy  could  do  to  have  and  keep 
every  man  to  whom  Lee,  Johnston,  and  others  were  entitled, 
as  soldiers,  at  the  front.  To  him  it  is  due,  largely,  that 
the  seventy-five  regiments  and  some  unattached  commands 
from  North  Carolina  were  kept  fuller  than  those  from  any 
other  State,  notwithstanding  that  the  bodies  of  more  North 
Carolina  dead  strewed  the  battlefields  of  the  country  than 
those  of  any  other  State;  that  quite  one-sixth  of  the  Confed- 
erate troops  hailed  from  this  State;  that  we  had  a  soldier 
for  nearly  every  voter;  and  that  one-fifth  the  Confederates 
surrendered  by  Lee  at  Appomattox,  and  one-half  surren- 
dered by  Johnston  at  Greensboro,  were  North  Carolinians. 
And  what  was  the  testimony  of  our  great  captain,  Robert  E. 
Lee,  as  to  the  value  of  Vance's  service  to  his  army?  In  the 
winter  of  1863-64,  in  view  of  the  disasters  of  Gettysburg 
and  Vicksburg  the  summer  before,  desertion  was  depleting 
his  ranks  and  despondency  was  settling  like  a  pall  over  his 
army  and  the  country.  Governor  Vance  saw  that  the  good 
name  of  his  State  and  its  soldiers  was  imperiled,  and  he  was 
moved  to  leave  his  office  at  Raleigh,  visit  the  army,  and 
make  to  brigades  and  divisions,  in  which  there  were  North 
Carolina  troops,  those  wonderful  speeches  whereby  hope 
was  substituted  for  despondency,  and  our  battered  reg- 
iments, from  other  States  as  well  as  this,  were  nerved  again 
with  the  courage  and  resolve  to  do  or  to  die.  Was  it  not 
partly  due  to  this  campaign  of  oratory  that  General  Lee, 
who  had  double  or  treble  his  numbers  and  the  world's  re- 
sources at  his  command,  from  the  Rapidan  to  Petersburg, 
and  to  make  himself  the  peer  of  Hannibal,  Frederick,  and 
Washington,  and  his  noble  army  to  share  the  immortality 
of  the  Spartan  band  at  Thermopylae?  It  is  reported  that  he 
said  that  Vance's  visits  and  speeches  were  worth  as  much 
to  him  as  50,000  recruits.  After  hearing  some  of  those 
speeches,  Gen.  J.  E.  B.  Stuart,  who  followed  him  from 
corps  to  corps  and  from  division  to  division,  asserted  that  if 

.  118  • 


oratory  is  to  be  measured  by  its  effects,  Governor  Vance 
was  the  greatest  orator  that  ever  lived. 

•     •  • 

Resolving  to  begin  the  practice  of  law  again,  he  settled  in 
Charlotte.  He  first  practiced  in  partnership  with  Col.  H.  C. 
Jones  and  Gen.  Robert  D.  Johnston,  and  afterwards  as  a 
partner  of  Maj.  Clement  Dowd.  His  circuit  was  extensive, 
and  his  practice  brought  him  fair  remuneration,  but  it  did 
not  occupy  all  of  his  time,  and  his  evenings  at  home  and  on 
circuit,  when  not  in  conference  with  client  or  associate 
counsel,  were  employed  in  the  preparation  of  lectures,  by 
the  delivery  of  which  he  could  add  to  his  income  for  the 
support  of  his  family  and  to  pay  debts  incurred  before  the 
courts  were  fairly  opened.  Some  of  these  lectures  were 
eloquent,  and  exhibited  much  literary  skill,  and  they  were 
all  interesting  and  instructive.  One,  on  "The  Scattered  Na- 
tion," suggested,  doubtless,  by  the  high  qualities  he  ob- 
served in  some  of  his  Jewish  friends  and  neighbors  in 
Statesville  and  Charlotte,  gave  him  real  fame  as  a  lecturer, 
and  was  delivered  with  great  acceptability  to  Jew  and  Gen- 
tile, by  request,  in  different  parts  of  the  country,  North  and 
South.  One,  on  the  "Demagogue,"  in  the  derivative  sense 
of  the  word,  as  a  leader  of  the  people,  should  be  in  print. 
It  contains  a  very  amusing  account  of  the  experiences  of  an 
enterprising  canvasser  for  Congress,  doubtless  his  own, 
and  some  excellent  lessons  to  public  speakers  as  to  the  use 
of  illustrations  and  anecdotes  in  popular  speeches.  His  anec- 
dotes were  so  amusing  that  they  were,  after  every  speech, 
widely  circulated;  and  not  to  repeat  well-known  stories  he 
must  either  have  had  a  wonderfully  large  repertory  or  have 
manufactured  many  of  them  for  the  occasion. 

Governor  Vance  was  accustomed,  on  account  of  having 
devoted  so  much  of  his  time  to  other  things  than  the  law,  to 
speak  lightly,  with  his  friends,  of  his  accomplishments  as 

.  119  • 


a  lawyer;  but  he  was  well-grounded  in  legal  principles,  and 
his  sense  of  justice  was  so  strong,  and  he  was  so  quick  to 
apprehend  a  point  suggested  by  Judge  or  counsel,  that  his 
client's  cause  seldom  suffered  from  his  want  of  technical 
knowledge;  and  his  influence  with  the  juries  was  more  than 
sufficient  to  make  up  for  any  deficiency  in  that  direction. 
An  opponent  in  some  of  his  cases,  himself  an  able  and  suc- 
cessful lawyer,  said,  after  some  of  Vance's  triumphs,  that 
a  law  ought  to  be  passed  by  the  Legislature  denying  the  last 
speech  to  Vance  before  a  Mecklenburg  jury.  His  quickness 
and  knowledge  of  human  nature  made  him  very  skilful  in 
examination  of  witnesses,  while  by  unexpected  repartee,  by 
apt  illustration  and  mirthful  stories,  he  often  upset  the  de- 
corum of  the  Court  and  convulsed  jurors  and  bystanders. 

Elected  to  the  Senate  about  the  last  of  November,  1878, 
and  January,  1885,  and  January,  1891,  he  served  his  State 
and  country  in  that  great  field  of  labor  from  the  day  he  was 
sworn  in  in  March,  1879,  until  stricken  down  by  disease, 
a  short  time  before  his  death  in  April,  1894.  How  he  served, 
how  he  labored,  how  he  bore  himself  in  the  hard-fought  bat- 
tles of  those  fifteen  years,  against  open  enemy  or  insidious 
foe;  how  vigilant  he  was  to  protect  the  liberties  of  the  people 
and  defend  the  fair  name  of  his  own  constituents  and  their 
brethren  of  the  South;  how  by  incessant  toil,  day  and  night, 
which  caused  him  the  loss  of  an  eye  and  then  shortened  his 
days,  he  mastered  the  great  questions  of  the  tariff  and  fi- 
nance and  became  the  recognized  leader  of  his  party  on 
those  questions;  how  he  used  the  battle-axe  of  logic  or  the 
scimitar  of  irony  and  wit,  with  equal  ease,  as  exigency  de- 
manded; how  by  courage,  candor,  and  sincerity,  in  all  he 
said  and  did,  on  the  floor  and  in  committee-rooms,  he  com- 
manded the  respect  and  confidence  of  all  honest  adver- 
saries, and  undoubting  support  of  his  followers;  how  by 
kindly,  if  bluff,  courtesy  and  merry  jest,  in  lobby  and  cloak- 

.  120- 


room,  he  overcame  the  prejudice  of  Northern  Senators,  and 
made  personal  friends  of  political  opponents,  how  he  en- 
livened the  dullest  debates  by  unexpected  sallies,  neat  epi- 
grams, and  witty  illustrations;  how  his  arguments  were  so 
interesting  that  the  seats  were  better  filled  when  he  spoke 
than  when  others  had  the  floor,  and  how  crowded  galleries 
hung  upon  his  words;  how  his  weight  and  influence  in  the 
councils  of  his  party,  in  the  House  as  well  as  the  Senate, 
were  ever  growing;  how  his  solemn  words  as  he  spoke 
for  the  last  time,  September  1,  1893,  from  his  place  in 
the  Senate  Chamber,  warning  the  people  of  the  country 
against  the  encroachments  of  the  money  power  and  its  al- 
lies, sounded  through  the  land  like  the  tones  of  a  fire-bell 
at  night,  are  all  part  of  the  history  of  the  times. 

The  eulogies  of  him,  as  orator,  statesman,  and  man,  pro- 
nounced ten  months  after  his  death,  and  in  words  well 
weighed,  by  leading  men  of  both  parties,  are  sufficient  to 
satisfy  his  most  ardent  friends,  and  justify  me  fully  in  say- 
ing that  in  the  opinion  of  his  fellows  he  stood  in  the  fore- 
front of  the  great  men  of  the  country,  and  that  in  him  passed 
away  the  most  interesting  personality  of  our  day. 

It  is  said  "that  the  greatness  of  most  men  diminishes  with 
the  distance."  That  it  was  not  so  with  Vance,  among  his 
intimate  friends  and  in  his  own  home,  I  think  I  have  shown. 
That  it  was  not  so  among  his  neighbors  in  Charlotte,  where 
he  so  long  lived,  and  that  they  could  not  have  been  party  or 
privy  to  the  little  estrangement  alluded  to,  conclusively  ap- 
pears from  an  account  given  by  the  Charlotte  Observer  of 
his  last  public  appearance  in  that  city.  It  was  on  the  evening 
of  November  1,  1892,  and  the  occasion  was  that  Mr.  Ham, 
a  distinguished  Georgia  orator  and  wit,  by  invitation,  ad- 
dressed the  citizens  in  the  largest  auditorium  of  the  city. 
At  the  conclusion  of  his  speech,  "Vance!  Vance!"  was  the 
sound  which  burst  continuously  from  the  immense  audi- 

.  121  • 


ence,  as  the  applause  for  Mr.  Ham  subsided,  and  as  the 
noble,  loved  "Zeb"  arose,  the  people  went  wild;  old  men, 
young  men,  women  and  children,  jumped  to  their  feet, 
waving  handkerchiefs  and  hats,  and  cheering  until  the  very- 
building  seemed  to  rock.  Not  a  person  in  the  house  remained 
seated.  Many  stood  on  the  benches;  hats  were  thrown  up, 
and  such  an  expression  of  love,  affection,  and  esteem  was 
never  shown  to  any  son  of  North  Carolina  at  any  time  or 
anywhere,  as  was  expressed  in  the  great  ovation  over  Vance. 
On  the  rostrum  every  man  rose,  and  following  Mr.  Ham's 
lead,  all  waved  their  handkerchiefs  and  cheered  for  fully 
ten  minutes.  It  was  a  great  demonstration,  and  one  that  did 
honor  even  to  the  loved  Senator.  As  he  stood  on  the  ros- 
trum, amid  the  deafening  cheers  of  his  people,  he  looked 
like  a  grand  chieftan  leading  his  people,  and  guiding  them 
simply  by  his  presence.  It  was  a  scene  the  like  of  which  was 
never  seen  in  Charlotte  before. 

Born  May  13,  1830,  and  dying  April  14,  1894,  how 
much  of  labor  well  done,  of  duty  well  performed,  of  glory 
nobly  achieved,  in  those  sixty-four  years  of  mortal  life!  In 
the  admiration  and  gratitude  of  his  State  he  will  continue 
to  live  as  long  as  North  Carolina  shall  be  a  State!  And  in 
that  other  life,  the  higher  life,  he  will  live,  we  fondly  trust, 
to  all  eternity,  in  that  home  prepared  by  Him  who  says  to 
every  son  of  man  who  has  done  his  duty  here:  "Well  done, 
thou  good  and  faithful  servant;  enter  thou  into  the  joy  of 
thy  Lord." 

Literary  and  Historical  Activities  in  North  Carolina,  1900-1905  (Ra- 
leigh, 1907). 



Unveiling  of  Statue  at  Statuary  Hall 

The  statue  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance  was  unveiled  in  Statuary 
Hall  in  the  Capitol  in  Washington  in  1916.  Four  addresses 
were  delivered  in  Statuary  Hall,  three  in  the  Senate,  and  nine 
in  the  House  of  Representatives.  Here  are  excerpts  from  the 
address  of  Locke  Craig,  Governor  of  North  Carolina: 


And  now,  Mr.  President  [turning  to  the  Vice  President], 
the  State  of  North  Carolina  presents  through  you  to  the 
United  States  the  statue  of  Zebulon  Baird  Vance.  This 
is  done  by  authority  of  a  resolution  of  the  General  Assem- 
bly of  North  Carolina  passed  without  dissent.  The  recogni- 
tion of  Vance  as  the  greatest  of  our  men,  and  the  placing 
of  his  statue  in  this  pantheon  of  the  Nation,  is  but  the  execu- 
tion of  the  judgment  of  all  of  the  people  of  North  Carolina. 
His  personality,  his  character,  and  his  deeds  confer  upon 
him  the  right  to  stand  here,  a  peer  among  the  foremost  of 
the  Republic. 

Our  State  has  not  been  in  a  hurry  to  occupy  the  two 
places  assigned  to  her  in  this  hall.  In  preferring  Vance 
as  the  first,  she  has  been  mindful  of  her  obligation  to  con- 
sider with  justice  all  of  her  noble  sons.  And  she  has  realized, 
too,  her  obligation  to  do  justice  to  herself.  This  statue  shall 
be  a  perpetual  memorial  of  him  and  of  her.  The  State  must 
be  judged  by  the  best  that  she  can  produce.  He  is  our  most 
precious  gift  to  the  world.  Since  we  have  set  him  up  as  the 
finest  conception  and  expression  of  North  Carolina  life,  he 
must  be  the  standard  by  which  this  and  coming  generations 
shall  measure  the  significance  and  worth  of  the  State. 

He  was  a  son  of  North  Carolina,  bone  of  her  bone,  and 
flesh  of  her  flesh.  He  was  born  and  reared  among  the  moun- 
tains, and  was  of  Scotch-Irish  lineage,  but  his  sympathies 

.  123  • 


were  not  limited  by  sectional  lines  nor  by  the  dogmas  of 
creeds.  Wherever  he  went,  among  all  classes  and  conditions 
of  men,  from  the  humblest  to  the  greatest,  he  was  primus 
inter  pares,  and  exemplified  the  universal  brotherhood.  In 
fashionable  salons,  among  scholars  and  statesmen,  he  was 
simple,  natural,  brilliant,  easily  the  center.  With  the  same 
unpretentious  manner,  on  terms  of  perfect  equality  he 
charmed  the  men  in  working  clothes,  with  rough  hands, 
and  was  loved  by  them  as  their  wiser  and  stronger  brother, 
whose  fidelity  could  never  be  doubted.  He  taught  dignity 
to  nobility.  He  was  "a  legist  among  the  lawyers,  a  sidereal 
among  the  astronomers." 

Vance  was  trusted  and  honored  and  loved  by  the  people 
of  North  Carolina  as  no  other  man  has  been.  He  was  elected 
and  reelected  to  the  places  of  highest  honor.  He  was  vested 
with  the  greatest  trust  and  called  in  every  crisis  to  do  the 
foremost  part.  From  the  time  that  he  was  30  years  old 
until  the  day  of  his  death  at  the  age  of  64  he  was  the  un- 
rivaled leader.  Faith  in  his  loyalty  and  prowess  never  fal- 

Preeminent  merit  is  not  always  the  necessary  prerequi- 
site to  high  official  position,  but  for  30  years,  in  times  of 
war  and  revolution,  disaster  and  suffering,  Vance  was  the 
chosen  champion  of  the  people.  He  declared  their  policies. 
He  voiced  their  highest  aspirations.  He  was  always  in  the 
fiercest  of  the  conflict  to  meet  and  to  overcome  with  blow 
for  blow  the  mightiest  that  opposed.  He  was  the  voice  of  the 
State,  the  incarnation  of  her  passion,  her  hopes,  her  de- 
termination, and  her  purpose.  He  was  the  leader  to  call 
her  to  duty,  to  rescue  her  victoriously  from  ruin  and  strife 
into  the  way  of  peace  and  to  point  her  to  a  triumphant  des- 
tiny. This  entitles  him  to  a  place  among  the  immortals. 

In  1879  Vance  took  his  seat  in  the  Senate  of  the  United 
States.  The  volcanic  force  and  fire  of  the  period  of  storm 

•  124. 


and  revolution  subsided  into  the  calm  and  clear  strength 
and  dignity  of  the  Senator.  At  no  period  in  our  history  have 
there  been  so  many  men  in  the  Senate  of  power  and  accom- 
plished statesmanship.  Every  State  sent  her  strongest  men. 
The  floor  of  the  Senate  was  the  arena  of  intellectual  giants. 
There  were  Blaine,  of  Maine;  Edmunds  and  Morrill,  of 
Vermont;  Hoar,  of  Massachusetts;  Conkling,  of  New  York; 
Bayard,  of  Delaware;  Ransom,  of  North  Carolina;  Hamp- 
ton, of  South  Carolina;  Benjamin  Hill,  of  Georgia;  Morgan, 
of  Alabama;  Lamar,  of  Mississippi;  Blackburn,  of  Ken- 
tucky; Vest,  of  Missouri;  Voorhees,  of  Indiana;  Thurman, 
of  Ohio;  Ingalls,  of  Kansas.  In  this  great  company  Vance 
was  recognized  as  the  equal  of  any,  an  intellectual  gladiator 
who  never  lowered  his  arm,  a  statesman  who  dedicated  him- 
self to  labor  and  to  the  service  of  the  State  and  of  the  whole 
Nation.  He  mastered  the  problems  of  his  time,  and  added  to 
his  national  fame.  His  speeches  gave  evidence,  not  only  of 
his  known  ability,  but  of  classic  culture.  In  debates  on  the 
policies  and  fundamental  questions  of  controlling  impor- 
tance he  was  generally  put  forward  as  the  spokesman  of  his 
party.  He  was  by  constitution  and  by  culture  a  democrat. 
He  was  the  unrelenting  foe  of  unjust  privilege  of  all  kinds, 
the  apostle  of  equal  rights.  He  delivered  the  faith  that  is 
now  the  creed  of  Democracy.  For  half  a  century  the  advo- 
cates of  political  dogmas  have  conjured  with  his  name,  or 
tried  to  conjure  with  it. 

There  was  nothing  of  the  demagogue  about  Vance.  He 
was  nearly  always  on  the  popular  side,  but  often  by  his 
own  genius  he  made  his  side  popular.  He  was  one  of  those 
men  of  genius  of  universal  type.  He  was  one  of  the  people, 
in  full  accord  and  sympathy  with  them.  His  single  purpose 
was  the  common  good,  with  a  passion  for  justice  and  against 
unfairness  and  oppression.  Gen.  Theodore  F.  Davidson,  a 
kinsman  of  Vance,  who  knew  him  perhaps  more  intimately 
than  any  living  man,  says  of  him: 

.  125  ■ 

•  APPENDIX  E  • 

Another  characteristic  particularly  in  public  matters, 
was  his  capacity  to  divine  the  right;  it  seemed  to  me  that 
with  less  effort  than  any  public  man  of  whom  I  have  any 
knowledge,  he  could  almost  instantly  comprehend  a  pub- 
lic question  with  its  results,  by  intuition.  This  quality 
was  an  endowment  of  nature,  developed  and  strengthened 
by  the  circumstances  of  his  unusual  career. 

Another  distinguishing  characteristic  which  made  him 
the  first  of  the  "leaders  of  men,"  was  his  absolute  devotion 
to  that  which  he  believed  to  be  the  best  for  his  country  and 
his  people.  I  do  not  believe  there  ever  was  a  moment  in 
his  life  when  he  was  not  perfectly  willing  to  offer  himself 
and  all  he  had  for  the  benefit  of  his  countrymen  without 
the  slightest  consideration  whether  it  brought  to  him  com- 
pensation in  any  form. 

If  you  strike  the  chord  of  a  musical  instrument  in  the 
midst  of  other  musical  instruments,  all  of  the  chords  that 
are  in  perfect  harmony  will  vibrate  with  the  same  rhythm. 
Vance  was  in  harmony  with  the  people.  The  same  causes 
that  stirred  them  stirred  him.  He  uttered  the  dominant  note. 
His  vision  was  farther  and  clearer.  His  conception  stronger. 
He  expressed  what  they  vaguely  felt,  and  what  they  had 
been  longing  to  hear,  and  he  gave  tone  and  unity  to  their 
thought,  their  aspirations,  and  their  life. 

•      .  . 

Vance  never  quailed  nor  bowed  the  knee  to  power. 
When  he  was  down,  when  his  enemies  were  in  control  and 
his  future  seemed  darkest  he  wrote  the  following  letter: 

To  the  Editor  of  the  New  York  World: 

I  see  by  the  public  prints  that  Gen.  Kilpatrick  has  dec- 
orated me  with  his  disapprobation  before  the  people  of 
Pennsylvania.  He  informs  them,  substantially,  that  he 
tamed  me  by  capturing  me  and  riding  me  200  miles  on 
a  bareback  mule.  I  will  do  him  the  justice  to  say  that  he 
knew  that  was  a  lie  when  he  uttered  it. 

I  surrendered  to  Gen.  Schofield  at  Greensboro,  N.  C, 
on  the  2d  day  of  May,  1865,  who  told  me  to  go  to  my 
home  and  remain  there,  saying  that  if  he  got  any  orders 

.  126  • 

.  APPENDIX  E  • 

to  arrest  me  he  would  send  there  for  me.  Accordingly  I 
went  home,  and  there  remained  until  I  was  arrested  on 
the  13th  of  May  by  a  detachment  of  300  Cavalry,  under 
Maj.  Porter,  of  Harrisburg,  from  whom  I  received  noth- 
ing but  kindness  and  courtesy.  I  came  in  a  buggy  to  Salis- 
bury, where  we  took  the  cars. 

I  saw  no  mule  on  the  trip,  yet  I  thought  I  saw  an  ass  at 
the  general's  headquarters;  this  impression  has  since  been 

Respectfully,  yours, 


His  humor  was  inimitable;  it  was  spontaneous.  Audi- 
ences were  convulsed  with  laughter  by  his  witticisms  and 
his  stories;  but  his  humor  was  always  an  incident.  It  al- 
ways illustrated.  It  was  always  used  for  a  purpose.  It  was 
overwhelming  and  brought  his  antagonist  irresistibly  into 
ridicule.  When  the  southern  leaders  in  Congress  were  ac- 
cused of  disloyalty,  he  said: 

What  motive  have  we  to  injure  this  country?  Having 
surrendered  the  doctrine  of  secession  and  abandoned  any 
intention  whatsoever  to  divide  this  Union,  how  could  we 
expect  that  the  democracy  to  which  we  belong  could  ob- 
tain and  hold  the  control  of  the  Government  except  by 
showing  the  people  by  our  acts  that  we  are  patriotically 
desirous  of  promoting  its  welfare  and  its  glory.  But  you 
say  you  distrust  these  expressions.  My  friends,  in  your 
hearts  you  do  not.  On  the  contrary,  a  man  who  has  of- 
fered his  blood  once  for  his  plighted  faith  you  believe 
when  he  plights  his  faith  again.  There  is  not  a  southern 
rebel,  no  matter  how  bitter  and  rampant  he  may  have 
been,  that  you  have  not  received  with  arms  widespread 
and  rewarded  with  offices  of  honor  and  trust  who  came 
to  you  with  craven  repentance  on  his  tongue,  ready  to 
vote  the  Republican  ticket  and  eating  dirt  with  the  same 
gluttonous  appetite  with  which  he  once  ate  fire.  You  pro- 
fess to  believe  him,  but  you  despise  him  in  your  hearts. 
You  are  not  alarmed  to  receive  him  and  you  cast  no  sus- 
picion upon  his  professions  of  sincerity,  though,  as  has 
more  than  once  happened,  he  asks  you  to  believe  he  tells 
the  truth  to-day  because  he  told  a  lie  yesterday. 

-  127  • 

.  APPENDIX  E  • 

His  personal  appearance  was  unique.  He  did  not  look  like 
other  men.  No  man  who  saw  him  ever  forgot  him.  His  mag- 
netism charmed  with  a  peculiar  and  indescribable  power. 
When  you  looked  upon  him,  you  knew  that  you  beheld  the 
lion-hearted  leader  of  men. 

When  known  and  understood,  men  of  all  parties  ad- 
mired and  honored  him  for  his  convictions,  his  courage,  his 
kindness  of  heart,  his  abiding  loyalty  and  devotion  to  the 
whole  country. 

When  he  died  the  State  was  awed  into  a  solemnity  that 
we  had  not  known.  It  was  realized  that  the  foremost  had 
fallen.  The  train  bearing  him  for  the  last  time  to  the  bosom 
of  the  mountains  that  bore  him  and  nurtured  him  passed 
through  the  State  while  the  assembled  people  with  uncov- 
ered heads  bowed  and  wept.  Meetings  were  held  in  almost 
every  county  in  expression  of  universal  sorrow.  The  State 
was  his  funeral  cortege. 

No  hollow  formalist  was  he,  deceptive  and  self-decep- 
tive,  ghastly  to  the  natural  sense,  but  a  very  man,  fiery, 
real,  from  the  great  fire  bosom  of  nature  herself. 

United  States  Congress,  64th,  1st  Session,  Proceedings  in  Statuary 
Hall,  U.S.  Senate  and  House  of  Representatives  Upon  Unveiling  of 
Statue  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance  (Washington,  1917). 

.  128  • 

.  APPENDIX  E  • 



Born  in  Idaho,  March  25,  1867;  son  of  Dr.  James  de  la 
Mothe  Borglum  and  Ida  (Michelson)  Borglum.  Educated 
in  the  public  schools  of  Fremont  and  Omaha,  Nebr.,  and 
at  St.  Mary's  College,  Kans.  Studied  art  in  San  Francisco, 
and  went  to  Paris  in  1890,  working  and  studying  in  Aca- 
demie  Julien  and  Ecole  des  Beaux  Arts.  Exhibited  as 
painter  and  sculptor  in  Paris  Salon,  in  Spain  in  1892,  and 
in  California  in  1893-94;  returned  East  and  went  to  Lon- 
don in  1896,  remaining  there  and  in  Paris  until  1901.  Has 
been  in  New  York  City  since  1902.  Exhibited  in  Paris  in 
1896  and  1901;  held  successful  "one-man"  exhibit  in  Lon- 
don; received  gold  medal  for  sculpture  at  Louisiana  Pur- 
chase Exposition.  Was  sculptor  for  work  on  Cathedral  of 
St.  John  the  Divine,  New  York;  Sheridan  Equestrian  Mon- 
ument in  Washington,  D.  C;  colossal  marble  head  of 
Lincoln  and  the  statue  of  Zebulon  Baird  Vance  in  the 
Capitol  Building;  figure  of  America  on  American  Repub- 
lics Building;  Mares  of  Diomedes  (bronze),  Metropolitan 
Museum,  New  York;  The  Atlas  (marble) ,  New  York,  etc. 
Member  Royal  Society  of  British  Artists,  Societe  National 
des  Beaux  Arts,  and  Architectural  League.  Clubs:  Metro- 
politan (Washington,  D.  C),  Players,  Camp  Fire,  Lotos, 
Fencers,  City,  and  Balsam  Lake  Club,  New  York. 



Address  at  Dedication  of  Monument 
at  Asheville 

The  monument  in  memory  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance  on  Pack 
Square  in  Asheville,  North  Carolina,  was  dedicated  on  May  10, 
1898.  An  address  was  delivered  by  R.  L.  Taylor,  Governor  of 
Tennessee.  Here  are  excerpts  from  his  address: 


.  .  .  Never  again  will  his  people  be  entranced  by  his  elo- 
quence, nor  the  enraptured  multitudes  listen  to  the  music 
of  his  voice.  Never  again  will  solemn  Senators  turn  away 
from  their  dignity  to  delight  in  the  glow  of  his  genial  spirit. 
The  warmth  of  joy  has  departed  from  his  lips;  the  star  that 
once  shed  glory  upon  the  old  North  state  has  set  forever. 
A  coffin,  a  winding-sheet,  six  feet  by  two  of  Mother  Earth, 
a  monument,  and  precious  memories  are  all  that  is  left  of 
the  orator  and  actor,  the  humanitarian,  the  statesman  and 
patriot. ...  It  would  be  presumptuous  folly  in  me  to  parade 
in  your  presence  to-day  the  noble  traits  of  his  character  and 
the  thrilling  events  of  his  life,  which  have  enriched  the  his- 
tory of  his  state  and  made  his  name  immortal.  They  are 
thoroughly  known  to  you  all. 

When  I  was  a  barefooted  boy  romping  among  the  hills 
of  Tennessee  the  news  of  his  fame  and  the  tidings  of  his 
marvelous  campaigns  used  to  come  floating  over  the  moun- 
tains. The  boys  heard  his  yarns,  and  rolled  on  the  floor 
with  merriment;  the  old  ladies  sat  at  the  fireside  and  cackled 
at  his  anecdotes,  and  the  sturdy  old  farmers  listened  to  his 
stories  in  the  fields,  and  stopped  their  plows  to  laugh. 

No  power  ever  checked  the  triumphal  march  of  the  youth- 
ful mountaineer  to  the  glorious  destiny  which  awaited  him. 

•  130- 


No  political  foe  ever  withstood  his  wit  and  humor  and  logic 
and  his  matchless  eloquence.  They  were  his  passports  to 
the  Legislature  and  to  Congress  while  yet  a  youth  in  his 
twenties,  and  as  he  grew  older  his  powers  developed.  His 
popularity  was  unparalleled,  his  influence  was  invincible. 
Through  all  his  long  and  brilliant  career  his  love  for  hu- 
manity never  waned  and  his  devotion  to  his  country  never 
cooled— always  ready  with  a  charming  story  to  tell,  always 
quick  at  repartee.  And  yet  his  logic  was  as  convincing  as 
the  sword  of  Stonewall  Jackson  at  Manassas  or  as  the  guns 
of  Dewey  at  Manila.  He  was  as  honest  as  Davis,  humorous 
as  Lincoln,  eloquent  as  Daniels,  as  true  to  the  hopes  that 
perished  at  Appomattox  as  Gordon  and  Forrest,  and  after- 
ward as  loyal  to  the  Union  as  Wheeler  and  Lee,  who  now 
wear  the  blue. 

Senator  Vance  was  a  splendid  thinker  and  a  statesman 
of  rare  ability,  but  he  always  looked  on  the  bright  side  of 
things,  and  no  music  was  half  so  sweet  to  him  as  the  songs 
and  laughter  of  the  merry  throngs  of  country  folks  who 
gathered  about  him  on  every  occasion  with  shouts  and 
hallelujahs  to  while  away  the  happy  hours.  And  thus  his 
busy  life  was  spent  in  adding  to  the  sum  of  human  happi- 
ness. ...  I  would  rather  trust  my  life  and  liberty  in  the 
hands  of  a  laughing  fool  than  in  the  hands  of  a  frowning 
tyrant.  Nations  do  not  suffer  when  their  rulers  sincerely 
smile  and  govern  with  love  and  mercy;  but  God  pity  the 
land  whose  ruler  frowns  and  rules  with  an  iron  rod,  and 
God  pity  the  ruler  himself,  for  the  harvest  of  his  frowns  is 
death! . . . 

The  life  of  Washington  eclipses  the  glory  of  Caesar,  and 
the  beautiful  reign  of  Victoria  outshines  the  romantic  record 
of  Napoleon's  rise  and  fall  

Laughter  and  love  and  hope  and  happiness  are  the  com- 
panions of  pleasure,  the  patrons  and  allies  of  civilization, 
the  handmaids  of  religion,  the  evangels  of  God. 

Senator  Vance  lived  and  loved  and  laughed  and  labored 

.  131  . 


for  his  people  and  for  humanity.  He  planted  the  flowers  of 
mirth  and  joy  in  the  hearts  of  others,  and  labored  on  until 
the  winter  of  age  whitened  his  head  with  the  snow  that 
never  melts.  But  there  was  no  snow  upon  his  heart:  it  was 
always  summer  there. 

Confederate  Veteran,  Vol.  6,  No.  5,  Nashville,  Tenn.,  May,  1898,  p.  198. 

.  132  • 

Selected  Bibliography 

Barrett,  John  G.  The  Civil  War  in  North  Carolina.  (Chapel  Hill,  N.  C, 

Camp,  Cordelia.  Governor  Vance:  A  Life  For  Young  People.  ( Asheville, 
N.  C, 1961). 

Cannon,  Elizabeth  R.,  editor.  My  Beloved  Zebulon.  (Chapel  Hill,  N.  C, 

Claiborne,  Jack,  and  Price,  William,  editors.  Discovering  North  Caro- 
lina. (Chapel  Hill,  N.  C,  1991). 

Coates,  Albert.  Three  North  Carolinians  Who  Have  Stood  Up  To  Be 
Counted  for  the  Bill  of  Rights.  (Chapel  Hill,  N.  C,  1973). 

Cooper,  Richard.  Zeb  Vance:  Leader  in  War  and  Peace.  (Raleigh,  N.  C, 

Dowd,  Clement.  Life  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance.  (Charlotte,  N.  C,  1897) . 

Johnston,  Frontis  W.,  editor.  The  Papers  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance.  (Ra- 
leigh, N.  C,  1963). 

Kratt,  Mary  Norton.  Charlotte  -  Spirit  of  the  New  South.  (Winston- 
Salem,  N.  C,  1992). 

Lefler,  Hugh  T.,  and  Newsome,  Albert  R.  North  Carolina:  The  History 
of  a  Southern  State.  (Chapel  Hill,  N.  C,  1954) . 

North  Carolina  Historical  Commission.  Literary  and  Historical  Activ- 
ities. 1900-1905.  Contains  the  address  of  Richard  H.  Battle  de- 
livered at  unveiling  of  Vance  statue  in  Capitol  Square,  Raleigh, 
N.  C,  in  1900. 

Phillips,  Russell.  Hooray  for  Vance!  American  Mercury  XXII,  1931. 
Reed,  Thomas  B.,  editor.  Modern  Eloquence.  (Philadelphia,  Pa.,  1900) . 
Sandburg,  Carl.  Abraham  Lincoln:  The  War  Tears.  4  Volumes.  (New 
York,  1939). 

Shirley,  Frank  Ray.  Zebulon  Vance,  Tarheel  Spokesman.  (Charlotte, 
N.  C, 1962) . 

Shurter,  Edwin  DuBois,  editor.  Oratory  of  the  South.  (New  York,  1908). 

Speizman,  Morris.  The  Jews  of  Charlotte.  (Charlotte,  N.  C,  1978). 

Szittya,  Ruth  O.  Man  to  Match  the  Mountains:  The  Childhood  of  Zeb- 
ulon B.  Vance.  (Asheville,  N.  C,  1980). 

Tucker,  Glenn.  Zeb  Vance:  Champion  of  Personal  Freedom.  (Indianap- 
olis, Ind.,  1965). 

United  States  Congress,  53rd,  3rd  Session,  Memorial  Addresses  on  Life 
and  Character  of  Zebulon  B.  Vance.  (Washington,  D.  C,  1895). 
United  States  Congress,  64th,  1st  Session.  Proceedings  in  Statuary  Hall, 

•  133  • 


U.S.  Senate  and  House  of  Representatives  upon  unveiling  of  Statue 
of  Zebulon  B.  Vance.  (Washington,  D.  C,  1917). 

Vance,  Zebulon  B.  The  Scattered  Nation.  (New  York,  1904). 

Vance,  Zebulon  B.  The  Scattered  Nation.  (New  York,  1916). 

Vance,  Zebulon  B.  The  Scattered  Nation.  (Raleigh,  N.  C,  1928). 

Walser,  Richard.  Tar  Heel  Laughter.  (Chapel  Hill,  N.  C,  1974). 

Womble,  Iris  W.  Zeb  Vance:  Tarheel  Tribune.  (Florida,  1949). 

Yates,  Richard  E.  The  Confederacy  and  Zeb  Vance.  (Tuscaloosa,  Ala., 

.  134- 



Abraham,  69 

Adler,  Selig,  viii,  19,  20,  24,  37 
Alexander,  97 

American  Jewish  Times,  56 
Appomattox,  17,  131 
Arabs,  23 

Asheville,  N.C.,  x,  9,  20,  24,  29, 

30,  31,  38,  116,  130 
Asheville,  Obelisk,  31 
Asher  and  Company,  43 
Assyrians,  66 
Avery,  William  W.,  10 
Aycock,  Charles  B.,  31 


Babylonians,  66 

Baird,  Mira  Margaret,  8 

Battle,  Kemp  P.,  9 

Battle,  Richard  H.,  9,  11,  114 

Black  Mountain,  29 

Blockade  running,  15 

Blum,  D.,  43 

B'nai  B'rith,  24,  25,  55,  56,  60n 
Boone,  Daniel,  6 
Borglum,  Gutzon,  129 
Brank,  Priscilla,  8 
Bryant,  William  Cullen,  50 


Calvary  Episcopal  Church,  24 
Carson,  Samuel  B.,  6 
Caesar,  97 

Central  Conference  of  American 

Rabbis,  24 
Charlotte-Mecklenburg  Library, 


Charlotte  Grays,  42 
Charlotte  Observer,  97,  121 

Charlotte,  N.C.,  4,  13,  15,  19,  20, 

25,  28,  30,  41,  42,  97,  119, 121 
Christianity,  21,  68 
Chronology,  xiii 
Cicero, 7 

Cleveland,  Grover,  President,  29, 


Clingman,  Thomas  Lanier,  10 
Confederate  States  Navy  Yard,  15 
Cohen,  E.  B.,  42 
Coleman,  David,  10 
Conservative  Party,  13 
Craig,  Locke,  Governor,  4,  31, 

Crockett,  Davy,  6 
Cromwell,  Oliver,  22 
Cyrus,  97 


Davidson  College,  8 
Davidson,  Theodore  F.,  General, 

Davidson,  John  Springs,  101 
Davis,  Jefferson,  President  of 

Confederacy,  15,  16,  17,  18,  38 
Dead  Sea,  77 
Democratic  Party,  10 
Dominicans,  21 
Dooley,  Tom,  4 
Dowd,  Clement,  46,  97,  119 
Drucker,  Levi,  42 


Ecclesiastes,  vii 
Egyptians,  66,  69 
Ellis,  John  W.,  Governor,  12 
Elias  and  Cohen,  43 
Espy,  Harriet  N.,  46 

.  135  • 



Fayetteville  Colored  Normal 

School,  27 
First  North  Carolina  Regiment,  42 
First  Presbyterian  Church,  viii 
Fort  Fisher,  17 
Fort  Sumter,  12 
Franciscans,  21 
Frankenthal,  S.,  43 
Frederick  the  Great,  Court 

Chaplain  of,  65 


Graham,  William  A.,  12,  17 
Grand  Army  of  the  Republic,  46 
Grant,  Ulysses  S.,  General,  18 
Gulf  Stream,  63 
Germany,  87 
Greeks,  70 


Habeas  corpus,  15,  16 

Hannibal,  97 

H.  &  B.  Emanuel,  43 

Hellenistic  thought,  70 

Hirshinger,  J.,  44 

Hoke,  Robert,  General,  17 

Holden,  William  W.,  13,  16,  17 

Holocaust,  22 

Holy  Bible,  7 


Ishmael,  69 
Israel,  State  of,  23 


Jackson,  Andrew,  President,  8, 

Jerusalem,  71,  77 
Jews,  19,  23,  64,  98 
Johnston,  Frontis  W.,  8 
Johnson,  Andrew,  President,  18 
Jones,  Hamilton  C.,  99 
Jefferson,  Thomas,  President,  112 
Josephus,  20,  70 
Journal  of  Southern  History,  viii, 


Kahnweiler  Brothers,  43 
Karaites,  80 

Kilpatrick,  Hugh  J.,  General,  40 
Koopman,  B.,  43 


Lebanon,  77 

Lee,  Robert  E.,  General,  5,  17, 

Lincoln,  Abraham,  President,  12, 
16,  18 


Macaulay,  66,  91 
Machiavelli,  20,  72 
Malvern  Hill,  Battle  of,  13 
Mecklenburg  Declaration  of 

Independence,  28 
Madison,  James,  President,  112 
Martin,  Florence  Steele,  48 
Memorial  Ceremonies,  30,  97,  100 
Merriman,  Augustus,  10,  13 
Miller,  Dr.  Arnold  De  Welles,  47 


Napoleon,  67 

New  Bern,  Battle  of,  13 


Old  Capitol  Prison,  19 
Old  Testament,  47,  51 


Palestine,  64 
Pontiffs,  68 

Presbyterian  Church,  First,  20, 

47,  48,  98 
Protestants,  23 


Raleigh,  112,  117 

Ransom,  Matt  W.  Senator,  105 

Reichenberg,  N.,  43 

Reynolds,  Daniel,  10 

Rintels,  Jacob,  42 

Romans,  66 

Rothschild,  84 

Russia,  22,  23 


Saluda  Gap,  6 

Scattered  Nation,  The,  19,  46,  48, 
50,  51,  53,  63,  98,  119 

.  136  • 


Scott,  Walter,  Sir,  7 
Schenk,  Judge  David,  5 
Schofield,  J.  M.,  Major  General, 
18,  38 

Secession,  North  Carolina,  13 
Sergeant  Bothwell,  87 
Settle,  Thomas,  26 
Shakespeare,  7 

Sherman,  William  Tecumseh, 

General,  17,  38 
Shirley,  Franklin  Ray,  19 
Socrates,  20,  70 
Southern  Historical  Society,  47 
Stanton,  Edwin  M.,  Secretary  of 

War,  41 
Statesville,  17,  18,  20,  38 
Statue  of  Vance— Statuary  Hall, 

31,  123 
Statue  of  Vance— Raleigh,  31 
Straus,  Nathan,  24,  25 
Stuart,  J.  E.  B.  General,  5,  118 
Swain,  David  L.,  7,  9, 17,  117 
Syrians,  66 


Tacitus,  7 

Taylor,  R.  L.  Governor,  130 
Tillett,  C.  W.,  101 


United  Daughters  of  the 

Confederacy,  24 
University  of  North  Carolina,  7,  8, 



Vance  County,  3 1 

Vance,  David  I,  8 

Vance,  David  II,  6 

Vance,  Margaret  Baird,  46 

Vance  Museum,  19,  24 

Vance,  Dr.  Robert  B.,  6 

Vance,  Statuary  Hall,  31 

Vance,  Statue  of,  Raleigh,  114 

Vance,  Zebulon  B., 
Eloquence,  4 
Heritage,  8 
Political  Career,  10 
The  War  Governor,  13 
"The  Scattered  Nation,"  19 
Jewish  Tributes,  23 
Governor  Again,  25 
United  States  Senator,  27 
Outpouring  of  Grief,  29 

Vatican  Council  II,  23 


Wake  Forest  College, 

Commencement,  1872,  7 
Walker,  Felix,  6 
Wallace,  Isaac  and  David,  39 
Warren,  Dr.  Edward,  5,  14 
Washington,  George,  President, 

Whig  Party,  10 
Wilmington,  15,  17 
Wise,  Rabbi  Stephen  S.,  25 
Wittkowsky,  Samuel,  40,  54,  98 
Williamson,  Clark  M.,  21,  33n 
Woodfin,  John  W.,  9 



Grateful  acknowledgment  is  made  for  permission  to  quote  from 
the  following  works: 

Abraham  Lincoln:  The  War  Tears  (1939)  by  Carl  Sandburg, 
by  permission  from  Harcourt,  Brace  Co. 

The  Civil  War  in  North  Carolina  (1963)  by  John  D.  Barrett, 
by  permission  from  University  of  North  Carolina  Press. 

The  Friars  and  the  Jews  ( 1982)  by  Jeremy  Cohen,  by  permis- 
sion from  Cornell  University  Press. 

Has  God  Rejected  His  People?  (1982)  by  Clark  M.  William- 
son, published  by  Abingdon  Press.  Permission  granted  by  Clark 
M.  Williamson. 

Zebulon  Vance,  Tarheel  Spokesman  (1962)  by  Franklin  Ray 
Shirley,  by  permission  of  Heritage  Printers,  Inc.,  successor  to 
McNally  &  Loftin.